Assessing sacred asses: Bronze Age donkey burials in the Near East
Talbot School of Theology
This study provides the most comprehensive archaeological survey of deliberate donkey burials in the ancient Near East. It comprises the updated results from a chapter of my doctoral dissertation — The Ceremonial and Symbolic Significance of Donkeys in the Biblical World (Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, 2006). First, donkey burials from sites in Egypt, Israel- Palestine, Syria, and Iraq are summarized in a brief historical overview that spans the entire 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Second, the donkey burials are interpreted under the rubric of five ceremonial contexts — those associated with human graves, those unrelated to human graves, those situated beneath walls, those situated in a fill covering a temple complex, and finally, those situated in a special tomb beside a temple. This study demonstrates that the donkey held a special status in the ceremonial practices of the ancient Near East.
Donkeys; Bronze age
DOI of Published Version
Way, Kenneth C., "Assessing sacred asses: Bronze Age donkey burials in the Near East" (2010). Faculty Articles & Research. 363.