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Household and Family Religion in Persian-Period Judah: An Archaeological Approach
Jose E. Balcells Gallarreta
Publication Date
July 2017


An archaeological exploration of religion at Tell en-Nasbeh

Balcells Gallarreta investigates the ritual artifacts from Persian period Tell en-Nasbeh in their original contexts, as a case study that provides a deeper understanding of the religious ideas and practices of households in Persian period Judah. Unlike previous scholarship that focused on official or state religion, he utilizes archaeology of religion and domestic contexts to reveal the existence of household religion and rituals in Persian period Tell en-Nasbeh, along with other contemporary sites in Yehud. Archaeological data from Tell en-Nasbeh and other sites in the Shephelah region of Yehud demonstrate that family and household rituals and religion were practiced in Persian period Judah.


  • Examination of remains from an extensively excavated site
  • Maps, tables, photos, and illustrations
  • Analysis of Persian-period biblical texts

José E. Balcells Gallarreta is founder and faculty members at, where he focuses on Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern archaeology.

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