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Biblical Archaeologist

Perspectives on the Ancient World from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean
A Publication of the American Schools of Oriental Research

Volume 60 Number 1
March 1997

Hellenistic Palestine Between Large Forces

2 Archaeological Sources for the History of Palestine: Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period
Andrea M. Berlin
Most historical reconstructions of the Hellenistic period narrate the epoch's inaugural and subsequent military clashes, from the Alexandrian conquest through Ptolemaic and Seleucid struggles, from the Maccabean uprising to the Roman invasion under Pompey. Archaeological data take us beneath and beyond such recitation to gain a glimpse of what life was actually like in Hellenistic Palestine. A presentation of the period's architectural remains, changes in its settlement patterns, and the variety of its material cultures helps us understand how the inhabitants of various parts of the country lived and how their lives changed during the course of these momentous centuries. Peaceful and increasingly wealthy and cosmpolitan lifestyles emerge from the obscuring dust of the historian's preoccupation with battles. True, the many campaigns fought in and over the region produced an ebb and flow of the population landscape, but lifestyles and routes of exchange continued in the patterns of previous centuries. These were ordered by two forces more fundamental and long-lived than battle formations: commercial opportunity and religious affiliation. 52 Arti-Facts

59 Caught in the Net
John Younger

On the cover:
Early explorers Peters and Thiersch excavated the Sidonian tomb at Marisha in 1902. The first discovered, this second-century BCE tomb turned out to be the largest andmost lavishly embellished of the necropolis. Its painted friezes portray hunting scenes with both real and fantastic animals. Photo by Richard T. Nowitz