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date: 29 May 2020

(p. v) Preface

(p. v) Preface

The idea for this Handbook was born during my conversations with Yaron Eliav and Zeev Weiss during the last five years, when we considered the creation of a new version of Samuel Krauss' multi‐volume Talmudische Archäologie. Such a new version remains a task of gargantuan proportions that will perhaps be accomplished by scholars in the future. In the meantime, this Handbook is meant to fill the gap, and to provide scholars and students with up‐to‐date surveys and tools for the study of the various areas of ancient Jewish daily life.

A Handbook is always a joint undertaking, and a collaboration of the contributors, the editor, and the publisher. Since so many different people are involved, the production of such volumes usually takes longer than anticipated, as was also the case with this work. I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank all those who submitted their chapters in time. Yitzhar Hirschfeld, who had agreed to write the chapter on domestic architecture, died shortly after he had signed the contract. May his memory be for a blessing. Special praise is due to those who stepped in at short notice to fill the gaps left by those who could not deliver, or whose submissions did not fit the Handbook's programme.

I would like to express my gratitude to all those colleagues who submitted images and copyright declarations with their texts. I owe special thanks to David Milson who was able to draw a map of Roman Palestine in the shortest of time, and to Uzi Leibner who provided the cover image for this volume from one of his recent excavations.

I am grateful to the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture whose grant allowed me to dedicate time to the planning of the Handbook and to do research in Israel. Special thanks are also due to the staff of the Classics and Ancient History Department of Oxford University Press who accompanied this volume.

Catherine Hezser