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Archaeology has unearthed the glories of ancient Jewish buildings throughout the Mediterranean. But what has remained shrouded is what these buildings meant. Building Jewish first surveys the architecture of small rural villages in the Galilee in the early Roman period before examining the development of synagogues as “Jewish associations.” Finally, Building Jewish explores Jerusalem’s flurry of building activity under Herod the Great in the first century BCE. Richardson’s careful work not only documents the culture that forms the background to any study of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity, but he also succeeds in demonstrating how architecture itself, like a text, conveys meaning and thus directly illuminates daily life and religious thought and practice in the ancient world.