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. One because it became the dominating religion in the European Middle Ages and the other because its survival and of its writings and close relationship to Christianity made it an interesting topic to study.
However, much of what we know now of Early Christianity is the archaeology of the period from 400-700 in the Mediterranean with its mosaiced churches and large building complexes. Compared to this the evidence from the Northern Provinces particularly 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 these identifications are. (Please note, this is not being taught from a religious perspective, but as an archaeological/ancient historical study).

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, all lectures will be recorded and distributed to the participants at the beginning of the next week. This should allow participants from different time zones, or those working to catch up with the lectures.

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

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

Virtual Learning Environment: Zoom

Single lecture:

Price Early Bird Minimum No. Maximum No.
£12 8 50

Bookings for a block of 10 lectures:

Price Early Bird Minimum No. Maximum No.
£120 £110* 8 50

*if booked before 27th December 2023.

To book, please use the attached order form or go to Eventbrite  ( You can also contact Birgitta Hoffmann for the BACS details or a PayPal invoice.

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

Adult Education in Manchester and Cheshire