EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Imagine you’d been born 3,000 years ago in ancient Israel. What would your life have been like?
The answer to this question can be found in Women’s Lives in Biblical Times, a new book written by United Methodist-related University of Evansville Associate Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Archaeology and Art History Jennie Ebeling. The book, published by T&T Clark International and released April 7, describes the events and daily life activities experienced by women and girls in ancient Israel.
It can be found at amazon.com or on sale in local bookstores.
“Despite all of the archaeological and textual information we have about life in biblical times, few books have focused on the day-to-day lives of women in this period,” Ebeling said.
“Judging from the popularity of fictional works about female biblical characters, many people are interested in this topic. Unfortunately, the writers of these novels are not specialists in the history and culture of ancient Israel and as a result, the information presented in these stories are often inaccurate. In this book, I begin each chapter with a narrative that traces the life of a fictional woman living in ancient Israel and follow with a discussion of the available evidence for the events I describe. This approach will allow readers to understand what life truly was like for women during this period.”
Early reviews indicate that Ebeling has succeeded in her goal, with amazon.com referring to the book as “comprehensive yet accessible to a wide audience,” and “a unique source for anyone interested in… learning more about women’s lives in biblical times.”
Women’s Lives in Biblical Times uses archaeology, biblical and other textual evidence from the ancient Near East and Egypt, iconography and ethnographic information to create a detailed, yet accessible, description of women’s lives during the Iron Age. Its seven thematic chapters chronicle one woman’s life “from cradle to grave,” focusing on the events, customs, crafts, technologies, religious practices and other activities in which ancient Israelite women were engaged on a daily basis.