skip to Main Content


Cynthia specializes in the historical, cultural, and archaeological contexts of ancient Israel and Judah. More specifically, She is interested in the daily lives of the average Israelite and Judahite household including economics, food preparation and consumption, religion, and the roles and relationships of the family. She is an experienced field archaeologist in Israel and is currently part of the archaeological excavation team at Tel es-Safi/Gath, Israel.

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Faculty of Theology
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Archaeology



  • Food in Ancient Judah: Domestic Cooking in the Time of the Hebrew Bible. Sheffield: Acumen, 2013. (now with Routledge, September 2014)
  • The 5 Minute Archaeologist (editor of). Sheffield: Equinox (forthcoming 2015/2016).
  • “Role of the Household in the Religious Feasting of Ancient Israel and Judah” in Feasting in the Archaeology and Texts of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East. Peter Altmann and Janling Fu, eds. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2014.
  • “Gender and Syro-Palestinian Archaeology: A Post-Feminist Perspective” in A Land Like Your Own: Traditions of Israel and Their Reception; J. Silverman and A. Saughton, eds; Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010.
  • “Economics” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. J. O’Brien, ed. NY: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • “Preferences, Avoidance, Prohibitions/Taboos” in The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. M. Beaudry and K. Metheny, eds; Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press (Forthcoming 2015).
  • “Foodways Associated with Religious Practices”in The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. M. Beaudry and K. Metheny, eds; Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press (Forthcoming, 2015).
  • “Cooking” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology. D. Master, ed. NY: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • 2013: “Food in the Hebrew Bible” online Bible encyclopedia, “Biblical Interpretation.”
Current Projects
  • The Five Minute Archaeologist, families / households in ancient Israel, and food and identity in the Hebrew Bible.
  • Society of Biblical Literature’s session on “Meals in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and Its World”, and the American School of Oriental Research’s session on “The Archaeology of Feasting and Foodways”
Archaeological Field Experience
  • 2013-present: Consortium Collaborator and Field Supervisor at Tell Halif, Israel; Directed by O. Borowksi
  • 2009-2013: Area Supervisor at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel; Directed by A. Maeir
  • 2001-2005: Volunteer, Square Supervisor at Tell Rehov, Israel; Directed by A. Mazar
  • 2002: Tomb Registrar, Achziv, Israel; Directed by E. Mazar
Back To Top
×Close search