Courtesy Joint Sepphoris Project

Jewish cultural continuity at Sepphoris is attested by such artifacts as this second- to third-century C.E. incense shovel. The ceramic shovel, though probably intended for domestic use, closely resembles the metal shovels used in Temple ritual.

Even after the broad introduction of Greco-Roman art and ideas in the centuries after Jesus, Judaism continued to be the dominant cultural force at Sepphoris. Archaeologists have yet to find a pagan temple or a gymnasium in the city—institutions one would certainly expect to find if the city was as hellenized as some scholars contend.

Based on the accumulated evidence, Chancey and Meyers conclude that Sepphoris, a thoroughly Jewish town in the time of Jesus, retained its core Jewish cultural identity despite the intensification of Greco-Roman influences in the centuries following the birth of Christianity.