The archaeology of Christianity and Judaism before 400AD

Birgitta Hoffmann

Christianity and Judaism have always received special attention in the archaeology of the Roman provinces. Christianity, because it became the dominating religion in the European Middle Ages and because the survival of Judaism and many of its early writings, as well as its comparatively well documented spread from its home in the Eastern Mediterranean allowed for detailed insights that elude us with other religions of the ancient world. However, much of what we usually refer to as the archaeology of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Roman provinces is the archaeology of the period from 400-700 in the Mediterranean with its mosaiced churches and synagogues and large building complexes. Compared to this the evidence from the Northern Provinces looks rather uninspiring.
This course is going to look at the evidence before the large church building period, to give a better comparison to the material that we know from Britain and Germany. It will also discuss how you identify a particular object as belonging to a specific religion and how safe some of the identifications are.

12th January   How to do the archaeology of a religion? A Methodology.

19th January   Illustrating the story: Josephus and the archaeology of the First and Second Jewish War

26th January Identifying synagogues and mikwahs in Galilee

2nd February Dura Europos and a world of Judaism with pictures

9th February What is a Jewish Catacomb?

16th February Half-term

23rd February What is a Christian catacomb?

1st March Early churches in Rome before and after Constantine

8th March Early churches in the Eastern Empire before 400.

15th March Glass and Pottery: Scenes from the Holy Book? But which one?

22nd March When do the churches arrive in the forts and provincial towns of the West?

(Please note, this is not being taught from a religious perspective, but as an archaeological/ancient historical study).

Day: Fridays.                     Time: 14.00-16.00 pm GMT/BST

Series of 10 lectures, starting on 12th January 2024, with Half-term on February 16th.

Virtual Learning Environment: Zoom

Price Early Bird Minimum No. Maximum No.
£120 8 50

To book, complete the MANCENT booking form and send it with payment to the address below or contact Birgitta Hoffmann for the BACS details or a Paypal invoice. Alternatively, you can use the following eventbrite link: ( for the Series and for individual lectures

Birgitta Hoffmann
55 Broadwalk, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5PL
email: mobile: 07377 791562