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15005Re: [ANE-2] The Ophel Inscription [Response to Rollston]

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  • Jeffrey Blakely
    Jul 13, 2013
      Dear Douglas, et al,

      On 14/07/13, Douglas Petrovich wrote:


      > As for redating the inscription to the 11th c., I would like to suspend judgment. I first would like to hear why exactly it cannot be dated to the 10th c. As one who has invested a great amount of time not only in epigraphy, but also archaeology, I know the dangers of drawing epigraphical conclusions while ignoring archaeological context. As with you, I consider it dubious that this pithos may have been an heirloom. This would be unprecedented, at least from my experience.


      I am in the field so without library and references, but I see no problem with a possibly aged pithos where you do. Multiple reasons

      1. Ethnographic work in the 70s and 80s showed cooking vessels to be the shortest lives with amphorae (when not intentionally broken), pithoi, and storage jars as the longest lived

      2. Rarely does one have an absolute date of manufacture and destruction, but at Pompeii they do. I think it was Ray Laurence in Roman Pompeii: Space and Society who noted century old amphorae being used as pithoi when Vesuvius erupted.

      3. Why assume heirloom when
      a. Residuality could easily account for it
      b. It could have still been in use as originally intended as just noted. The Niloak pottery from the 1930s in my china closet is an heirloom, Hoover dam from the exact same period is not since it is doing its original, intended job.

      Just my two cents.

      Jeffrey A. Blakely
      Madison, Wisconsin
      but currently at Ruhama, Israel
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