Religious Responses to Climate Change in the Southern Levant: Understanding the rise and fall of Jewish ritual purification baths in the Hasmonean-Roman period

Project: University of Helsinki Three-Year Research Project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

This project studies the impact of climatic changes upon Jewish water purification rituals in the southern Levant from around the second century BCE to the third century CE. Starting from the archaeological dataset of hundreds of stepped pools from the region that have been identified as Jewish ritual purification baths, the project explores their rise, upkeep, and transformation through object biography approaches and hydrological modelling. The impact of these changing practices upon religious ideas is explored through a reception study of later written Rabbinic traditions.
Short titleReligious Responses to Climate Change in the Southern Levant
Effective start/end date01/01/201931/12/2022


  • University of Helsinki: €150,000.00
  • Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation: €28,000.00

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Classical archaeology
  • Environmental history
  • Jewish studies