Balcells Gallarreta examines Persian-period Tell en-Naṣbeh (associated with biblical Mizpah of Benjamin) for clues about household and family religion and ritual (as opposed to “official” or state religion) during that era. Working with archaeological data collected by William Badé in digs of the 1920s and 1930s (now kept at the Badé Museum in Berkeley, CA), Balcells Gallarreta aims to apply modern social-scientific methods to Badé’s findings, utilizing Catherine Bell’s six ritual typologies (rites of passage; calendrical rites; rites of exchange and communication; rites of affliction; feasting, fasting, and festivals; and political rites). His strategy is to identify family and household settings in the Persian-era layers of the tell and then scrutinize those settings for evidence of Bell’s typologies. Despite the implications of the title, Balcells Gallarreta offers little about the practice of religion. His central contribution is his identification of aspects of the site that should be researched for evidence...

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