Cynthia Shafer-Elliott


Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Archaeology at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California. Dr. Shafer-Elliott specializes in the daily lives of the average Iron Age Israelite and Judahite household, including the dwelling, food preparation, religion, and the roles and relationships of the household members. She has extensive archaeological field experience and is currently part of the excavation team at Tell Halif, Israel. Dr. Shafer-Elliott’s current research projects includes various articles on food preparation, households at Tel Halif, and is also co-editing the T&T Clark Handbook of Food in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.

Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
Cooking in Ancient Israel

The subject of food has taken a central role on the cultural stage. There are numerous podcasts, television and radio shows, celebrity chefs, and even entire television channels dedicated to the cooking of food. More recently, our interest in food is attempting to reclaim our diets from cheap, processed fast food to what is naturally good for us and for the environment. This trend in food has even spread to the academic arena and has been the topic of much research in various fields, including Biblical Studies and Biblical Archaeology. Studies on topics such as feasting, animal and plant remains, baking, cooking pots and ovens comprise just a small portion of the good work being done by scholars who specialize in ancient Israel. This particular talk is interested in the food prepared by the average ancient Israelite. By utilizing the methods of household archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, and texts from the Hebrew Bible, we will attempt to better understand what and how the Israelites prepared their food on a daily basis.