What distinguishes an individual or a group in ancient society? How do issues of gender, ethnicity, social stratification and the view of the 'other' impact individuals, groups, and societal attitudes? Foucault in his classic work, The Archaeology of Knowledge, observes that layers of information embedded in language and society often elucidate the unspoken assumptions that individuals, groups or societies hold most dear. What is perceived to distinguish one group can carry such symbolic power that whole societies structure their laws, gender roles, ethnic identities, and views toward the "other" in the light of perceived differences. The ancient world was dominated by such differences. Clothing, hair, costume, housing, gender, religion, set apart one from the other. Ascertaining the rules governing difference in antiquity is challenging. Such rules were generally assumed, not clearly delineated. To determine "the archaeology of difference" the studies in this volume draw on textual and material culture. How does archaeological data illuminate gender or ethnicity or interactions and views of the "other"? What in the archaeological evidence elucidates the attitude toward women's role in society or Jewish perspectives on the Gentiles or attitudes toward the dead? What in texts illuminates the "other" especially as it relates to the writer's or narrator's perception?
About the Author
Douglas Edwards was a distinguished professor of Religion at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Washington State. Edwards had a PhD in New Testament and Christian Origins from Boston University. His first venture in field archaeology occurred as an area supervisor at Sepphoris, Israel in 1986, where he worked another six years. He helped to excavate roof tiles with the stamp of the 6th legion Ferrata at Kefar Hananya and led his first excavation as co-director at Yodefat or Jotapata. An expert in GPS and GIS, Edwards's last work included a survey of sites in Lower Galilee. C. Thomas McCollough is the Nelson D. and Mary McDowell Rodes Professor of Religion at Centre College in Danville, KY. McCollough has taught at the College since 1980 and has held the Rodes Professorship since 2002. In 2009, he received the Kirk Teaching Award. McCollough has particular expertise in the history of Christianity and Christian thought, biblical history and archaeology, and the contemporary Middle East.