You speak of "better pictures now available on the net." Would it be possible to supply an URL so that the rest of the group could view these as well?
… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
From: Peter van der Veen <van_der_Veen@...
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2009 8:28:37 AM
Subject: [ANE-2] Menahem jar handle revisited
Dear members of ANE 2,
A few weeks ago a certain incised jar handle from Jerusalem (actually from the Mt of Olives from the Ras el Amud neighborhood) was announced in the media. I briefly commented on the date as did others, for instance Chris Rollstone on the Jim West Blog. It seemed that a date in the 8th-7th century BC appeared to be most appropiate.
The reading suggested in the media (and by the IAA people, like archaeologist Ron Beeri) was "Menahem."
This reading however appears rather unlikely to me. When I again looked at the better pictures now available on the net I reached another conclusion which I would like to present here for discussion.
These are the letters that can be read on the jar handle:
l? m . nchm
- Between "mem" and "nun" there clearly is a word divider! It cannot be mistaken.
- What succeeds the word divider is probably the personal name "Nahum"
- There also is something before the word divider: the "mem" already seen by others and the apparent remains of another letter just to the right of it. This could possibly be a "lamed". Unfortunately we cannot tell for sure as the jar handle is broken off at this point.
My first idea (admittedly very speculative at first) was to read here a toponym, perhaps [Jerusa]lem.
Suddenly the jar handles from Gibeon (el-Jib) came to mind which were published by James Pritchard.
These follow a certain pattern: name of town + vineyard (gdr) + name + sometimes name of father. Sometimes also the word gdr is not found and we have only the name of the town (Gibeon) followed by what is probably the name of the winedresser.
Also the letters on the Gibeon jar handles have been incised with a sharp implement into the leather hard clay as is the case with the new jar handle.
Could there be a link between the Ras el Amud jar handle and the ones found at Gibeon? The latter have been variously dated to the late 8th - 6th centuries BC, while a date in the 7th appears rather likely.
I just want to share this as somebody else on this list may have had similar ideas and it would be interesting to share or discuss these (if preferred this can also be done off-line).
Peter van der Veen, PhD
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