Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Ancient History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Ancient History Ancient History Forum - Greece, Rome, Carthage, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and all other civilizations of antiquity, to include Prehistory and Archaeology discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 1st, 2010, 03:56 PM   #1

Salah's Avatar
Unchained
Blog of the Year
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Baltimorean-in-exile
Posts: 20,551
Blog Entries: 177
What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.

-Sh'mot/Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 4

Idolatry was forbidden in the Law of Moshe, as was the making image of people or animals, as said above.

It would seem that the Ancient Hebrews/Israelis, as well as the Classical era Jews, took this so far that they refused to make any kind of images, not drawing, painting, or carving on wood or rock pictures of people or animals. This was still the case at least as late as the 2nd Century BC - during the Maccabean Revolt, the Jewish rebels did not decorate their flags and shields with images of animals (e.g. the Lion of Y'hudah) but instead with quotations from the Torah - as the Crusading-era Muslims would later do.

So, I'm just thinking outloud here, do we really have any evidence for the physical traits, hairstyles and grooming, clothing, etc. for the ancient Israelis? (you will note that I call them "Israelis" rather than Hebrews or Israelites; "Israelite" is just Christian-English-version-of-the-Tanakh-talk for Israeli)

Wall paintings in Egypt depict Semitic tribesmen bringing tribute; these men are not necessarily Israeli but are probably at least a materially similar people. They had olive skin, long dark hair, short beards, and the men are naked to the waist. Their clothing is brightly colored - reminding one of Yosef's Coat of Many Colors in Genesis.

An Assyrian inscription commemorates an event in which "Iaua, of the House of Omri" (Biblically, Yehu, king of Divided Israel) paid tribute to an Assyrian Emperor. Yehu wears what looks like a skullcap and has a medium length beard and hair. His aides standing behind him are dressed in Assyrian style and have very long hair.

Are there any other known depictions of Old Testament-era Israelis?

We do have slightly more evidence - literary, archaeological, etc. for those of the Greek and Roman eras. I have read that the earliest indisputable evidence for the Jewish skullcap is depicted on a Roman inscription of the 2nd Century AD. In the next Century, a large and wealthy Jewish community residing in Dura Europos, Syria, made a synagogue (the oldest still in existence today) and decorated its walls with paintings of famous scenes from Jewish history. The figures are shown with short hair and goatees, typical of the 3rd Century Romans, and many are also shown wearing contemporary military uniforms, meaning this is not a good source of information for what the artists themselves may have looked and dressed like.

Does anybody have any additional evidence to contribute?
Salah is offline  
Remove Ads
Old February 1st, 2010, 04:07 PM   #2
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jul 2006
From: UK
Posts: 6,110
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Identical to the people we now call Palestinians. They are the original Jews who stayed in the Holy Land after the Temple's destruction and embraced Islam
Nick is offline  
Old February 1st, 2010, 04:11 PM   #3

Salah's Avatar
Unchained
Blog of the Year
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Baltimorean-in-exile
Posts: 20,551
Blog Entries: 177
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Identical to the people we now call Palestinians. They are the original Jews who stayed in the Holy Land after the Temple's destruction and embraced Islam
The Palestinian people are not Jewish. Upon the fall of Bar Kochva in 136 AD, Hadrianus forbade all Jews from entering Judea except during the Seder. Even small populations of Jews were not tolerated in and around Jerusalem until early Muslim times, but the area has remained predominately Muslim until the 20th Century.
Salah is offline  
Old February 1st, 2010, 04:29 PM   #4

~Tawananna~'s Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
From: Germany
Posts: 430
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


I know of an ancient Israeli historian(? not so sure what he was) describing what ancient Greeks looked like, but I am not aware of any Greek source for example, describing them...
~Tawananna~ is offline  
Old February 1st, 2010, 05:26 PM   #5

Sargon of Akkad's Avatar
Backworldsman
 
Joined: Jun 2009
From: Glorious England
Posts: 6,984
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Tawananna~ View Post
I know of an ancient Israeli historian(? not so sure what he was) describing what ancient Greeks looked like, but I am not aware of any Greek source for example, describing them...
Got a link? I love reading contemporary descriptions.
Sargon of Akkad is offline  
Old February 1st, 2010, 05:44 PM   #6

~Tawananna~'s Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
From: Germany
Posts: 430
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
Got a link? I love reading contemporary descriptions.
Here you are:

http://evans-experientialism.freeweb...rckhardt09.htm

Unfortunately I cannot find the original text. Adamantius Judaeus was a doctor and he was not that Ancient. I thought he was BCE, but he lived later on, beginning of the 5th century CE. My bad
~Tawananna~ is offline  
Old February 1st, 2010, 06:23 PM   #7

Salah's Avatar
Unchained
Blog of the Year
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Baltimorean-in-exile
Posts: 20,551
Blog Entries: 177
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
Got a link? I love reading contemporary descriptions.
Me too! I read Herodotos' accounts of the Libyan tribes for cheap laughs - not to mention the Germania...
Salah is offline  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 04:11 AM   #8
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2009
From: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 6,085
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah ad-Din View Post
You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.

-Sh'mot/Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 4

Idolatry was forbidden in the Law of Moshe, as was the making image of people or animals, as said above.
Making an image was only forbade if it was to be used for worship.

Exodus 20:
4"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Emilio Primo is online now  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 05:00 AM   #9

sturm's Avatar
миротворец
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Bulgaria
Posts: 8,885
Blog Entries: 1
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


Once i had a discussion with Vera, where i asked the fallowing question:

Does being a "jew" means a person believing in judaism, or is "jew" a race\ethnicity.
sturm is offline  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 05:08 AM   #10

Edratman's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2009
From: Eastern PA
Posts: 4,768
Re: What did the Ancient Israelis/Jews Look Like?


I would say Nick is correct. There is no historical documentation that says the entire indigenous population were uprooted and replaced by another population. Many armies and many traders passed through the region in the past 3 thousand years, contributing to the gene pool, and that is difficult to factor in, but the predominate gene pool should be unchanged.
Edratman is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Ancient History

Tags
ancient, israelis or jews


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kaifeng Jews okamido Ancient History 11 May 5th, 2011 08:12 PM
Who were the Red Jews? Nick European History 11 January 6th, 2011 03:37 PM
Help from American Jews to European Jews. (during II WW) Agnieszka American History 6 July 16th, 2009 03:33 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.