Ethnic Identities and Circumcised Phalli at Hellenistic Maresha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Material finds may shed light on the relationship between the different ethnic groups residing in Maresha, particularly the Judeans and Idumaeans. These discoveries lead us to look more closely at certain rituals that were previously seen as ethnic indicators. Circumcised phalli, ritual immersion installations, ceramic vessels whose holes appear to reflect Mishnaic rules of purity and impurity, ossilegium, and an Aramaic marriage contract that bears similarities to later Judean contracts were discovered in excavations at Maresha. While the identification of these finds as ethnic symbols connected to the Judeans is clear, their discovery at Maresha and in a Hellenistic context raises many questions. Are these clues pertaining to early rituals that were shared by the general population of Maresha and gradually coalesced, later in time, into normative Judean/proto-Pharisaic behaviour? The convergence of these materials in this context is too overwhelming to be dismissed as coincidental.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-87
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022,Strata. All Rights Reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • History


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethnic Identities and Circumcised Phalli at Hellenistic Maresha'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this