The subject of everyday life in Roman-period Palestine would seem, on the face of it, to be a topic of genuine interest to all sorts of scholars and laypeople: to archaeologists, New Testament scholars, to scholars in classical studies or in rabbinics or Jewish studies. Ancient lifeways conjured up all sorts of thoughts about breaking down the barriers between yesterday and today, while at the same time suggesting a hopeful avenue of investigation that might make the distant past more palatable to the present. But the high-technological present, so long after the dawn of the industrial era in the mid-nineteenth century, in fact makes it more difficult than ever before to come to grips with some of the harsher realities of the Roman-period past, whether in Palestine or elsewhere. But whether we want to accept it or not, ancient Palestine was at a further remove than many of us would want to accept when it came to many of the technological advances we know of further west or in some of the great eastern cities like Aphrodisias or Ephesus.