more on the 'purity seal'
- My post 10 days ago did not challenged the reading of the bulla, which seems to be correct, but I did challenge the interpretation of it's use. I emphasized the fact that the back of the bulla has two indentations left by the fingers of the seal's owner and there is no evidence of a papyrus impression or a cord tunnel which can testify of its use as a sealing. Based on the Mishna it is evident that this bulla served as a means of payment. Bullae used as means of payments are known also from the Iron Age, named by Nahman Avigad as "fiscal bullae". Therefore Prof. Naeh's suggestion regarding the use of the bulla is not at all new. Moreover I can safely state that his opinion was influenced by my post, as some of its formulations are exact as were expressed by me. In any event, Prof. Naeh'e reading is a pure speculation and it has to be rejected.
Thank you for this helpful clarification. I understand the feeling when a colleague delineates your ideas as his/her own, as this very thing happened to me in a conference-presentation I attended in November. A dear colleague of mine was discussing ideas for which someone else in the room credited him, but which derived from an article I published 5 years ago (a copy of which I subsequently gave to him to read).
The only question you left unaddressed is whether you believe this to be the seal of the owner, which was used to make fiscal bullae for the masses, or to be one of the undoubtedly numerous seal impressions (bullae) that were produced by means of the original seal.
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