Tell en-Nasbeh Households

This treatment of household archaeology at Tell en-Nasbeh initiates a broader program of research on Iron Age II residential compounds at the site. By studying ceramics and small finds in their original architectural contexts, I investigated aspects of daily life in a fortified village at the household level. This provides a bottom-up view of Judean society that stands in contrast to the top-down view of royal or elite society typically represented in various texts of the Hebrew Bible during the period of the United and Divided Monarchies. This household approach also stands in contrast to most Iron Age II excavations in the region that have focused primarily on the archaeology of urban centers and other outposts of the central authorities, such as fortresses.

Were the pillared-houses at Nasbeh the residences of nuclear or extended families? Data presented allows me to define a particular five-building compound as the home of three nuclear families whose houses were physically linked. Shared or pooled resources of these three nuclear families, revealed through household archaeology, suggest that this compound housed one extended family.

Aaron Brody (Director, Badè Museum)

References:

Brody, A. J. 2009. ‘Those who Add House to House,’ Household Archaeology and the Use of Domestic Space in an Iron II Residential Compound at Tell en-Nasbeh. Pp. 45-56 in Exploring the Longue Durée: Essays in Honor of Lawrence E. Stager, ed. J. D. Schloen. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.