Empire, Oil, and Disaster - blog about my new book

A religious sect getting more and more attention of the world. Jews in the Middle East already have problems with them. Coincidentally, a terrible terract happens in the largest city of the empire. The same religious sect is blamed for it. The year is 64 AD. The sect is Christians. The place is Rome of the emperor Nero.
Beware of September Ides!

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Location: United States

Sunday, January 31, 2010

House of Yosef in Jerusalem

First of all - about the material. Most stone building in Jerusalem were constructed from limestone or dolomite. Now, there were several kinds of limestone: Senonian limestone - located east of Jerusalem and most available and cheap stone, Cenomanian a.k.a. mizzi ahmar and mizzi yahudz (arabic) limestone - more expensive and hard to handle, and Turonian layers providing mizze helu and meleke. Meleke is soft and easy once digged, but hardens on contact with the athmosphere, It was also most often used with religious structures and very rare now. I have no more details, but I'd expect that house of a priest would be made of the most appropriate stone - meleke.

The color. Limestone in area has multiple colors -- pale, sand, golden, pink and off-white. With the time meleke stone of the Western wall became nearly bright white -- phenomena noticeable with some Greek monasteries made of limestone too. So, I'd assume Yosef's house was made of pale of off-white meleke limestone.

Floor Plan. It seems that normal plan for a house in the area includes 4-6 rooms on the first floor, two floors and flat roofs with the space on them to dine or relax in the evening. Four room floor plan was pretty straightforward: entrance room, back room, another room on the right or left of the entrance room, and another room behind it with or without a door to the back room. Not much privacy. On another hand, if one sent the servants away (was it even possible?), they could have enjoyed relative privacy on the roof, provided they did not talk out loud and noisy like a bunch of Americans in a Parisian cafe these days. But other than that, all conspiracy has to be done either in eateries, or in even more private places outside. Gethsemane garden comes to mind...

The guests more likely were provided with the second floor room, likely above the main or secondary back room, because front ones could have been non-existent and providing access to the roof (stairs take place too).

Misc links:
http://www.livius.org/jo-jz/josephus/josephus.htm
http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/
And, of course, all-knowlegdable wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jotapata (Yodfat)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_stone

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