Dr. Rick Bonnie (University of Helsinki) will give a lecture on “Ritual bathing in the private houses? Evidence of stepped pools in Galilee, c. 100 BC–AD 70”. Dr. Bonnie is a post-doctoral researcher in the Centre of Excellence in “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions”, Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Helsinki. The lecture is held in the seminar room of Classical Philology (A215) in Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40, A-wing, 2nd floor. Entrance through the 3rd floor) on Wednesday April the 15th, 2015, at 6.15 pm. Welcome!
From the wide distribution of stepped pools at sites across Israel/Palestine, it is usually argued that by the first century BC the Jewish population in general observed the practice of ritual bathing. This argument is, however, primarily supported by a weak contextualization of the archaeological evidence. As will be argued through a case study from the region of Galilee (northern Israel), the observance of ritual bathing was not evenly spread across the Jewish population. Moreover, by focusing on the context of these pools in Galilean private houses, this research aims to better understand the role and significance of these features within a Jewish household in particular and society in general.