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Re: [ANE-2] Re: 10th Cent BCE inscription on jar from Jerusalem

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  • Raz Kletter
    Dear Brian, Aren Maier follows a High Chronology so his 9th century =LC 8th century. The pottery dating is not exact; same for paleography. Given the lack of
    Message 1 of 51 , Jul 15, 2013
      Dear Brian,
      Aren Maier follows a High Chronology so 'his' 9th century =LC 8th
      The pottery dating is not exact; same for paleography. Given the lack of
      historical sources in 12th-9th centuries Levant, what is the basis for
      paleographical dating between say 11th and 10th centuries? Which comparable
      inscriptions are used to date this one, if there are no comparable,
      securely-dated inscriptions?
      Regarding "pure water": if to be taken seriously (no theoretical reason
      against), one should show that Iron Age people had concerns about
      *impure*water... Also find comparable inscriptions. Surely water was
      held in jars;
      but I recall no inscription documenting it, while there are a lot of wine
      incriptions. This since there were various types of wine, with different
      qualities/prices; but there was yet no concept of "mineral water" :(
      As for "homer": this measure is far to large. It was rather a measure
      for calculations, not for physical measuring. One may assume something like
      "1/10 homer" (the 1/10 missing), but it is difficult, since using a
      smaller, complete measure (e.g. bath) is much more logical in this context.
      Raz Kletter
      Helsinki University

      2013/7/15 Simeon Chavel <sbchavel@...>

      > Brian,
      > Aren Maeir certainly means the form of the vessel, not the letters. When
      > he say it looks 9th century, I do not think the overall chronologies are at
      > issue, only the stratum in which the vessel was found.
      > Simi Chavel
      > --------------------------------------------------
      > Simeon Chavel
      > Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible
      > The University of Chicago Divinity School
      > http://divinity.uchicago.edu/faculty/chavel.shtml
      > --------------------------------------------------
      > On Jul 15, 2013, at 7:41 AM, Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
      > wrote:
      > > Reminder, the official photograph of the inscription is here:
      > > http://media.huji.ac.il/new/photos/hu130710_mazar4_hi-res.JPG
      > >
      > > Aren Maeir (see further, below) said:
      > >
      > >> from what I can see from the drawing of the pottery, it appears to me
      > to be a 9th cent. BCE form. As I'm in the field and without the literature,
      > I can't give exact parallels, but offhand, I would think that they are
      > reminiscent of the so-called "Ajrud Pithoi".
      > >>
      > > Aren is talking about the shape of the pot, not the the forms of the
      > letters on it, right?
      > >
      > > Does this statement from the original announcement (sent by Dov Smith on
      > 10th of July, and widely disseminated) have an answer to that?
      > >
      > > "The inscription is engraved on a large pithos, a neckless ceramic jar
      > found with six others at the Ophel excavation site....The inscription was
      > engraved near the edge of the jar before it was fired, and only a fragment
      > of it has been found, along with fragments of six large jars of the same
      > type. The fragments were used to stabilize the earth fill under the second
      > floor of the building they were discovered in, which dates to the Early
      > Iron IIA period (10thcentury BCE). An analysis of the jars� clay
      > composition indicates that they are all of a similar make, and probably
      > originate in the central hill country near Jerusalem."
      > >
      > > Is Aren using a different time-scale (you know, the higher and lower
      > dating schemes)?
      > >
      > > Is there any doubt that the inscription was incised into wet clay before
      > baking?
      > > In my original message (11th of July, in which I interpreted it as COOL
      > CLEAR WATER or something like that) I accepted this, and I think the 2nd
      > letter from the left showed that (R or Q). This makes the text have the
      > same age as the pot itself.
      > >
      > > And the object must be older than the building in which it was
      > discovered?
      > >
      > > If it is established that it is a pithos (a large storage jar; in its
      > Greek setting it was for wine), what would be the Classical Hebrew word(s)
      > for such an object?
      > >
      > > If it is not a cooking pot, then Christopher Rollston's QLH. should not
      > work, as the meanings it has in its Hebrew history are "cauldron, kettle,
      > pot for cooking".
      > > Also, whether in its original Egyptian setting, or in Coptic, or
      > Ugaritic, or Hebrew, it has a final -t, and it is difficult to spot a Taw
      > near the Het, except by deconstructing the Het and making its bottom right
      > corner a cross (+), thus constituting a unique ligature (not impossible, I
      > suppose).
      > >
      > > But that is a strange Het, anyway, with two horns and two legs, and only
      > two crossbars (as I argue, it started as a H.asir, with a room and a
      > courtyard), and we need to resort to the 9th-C. Moabite stone of Mesha` to
      > find a peculiar counterpart with the three characteristics we encounter
      > here.
      > >
      > > http://www.rollstonepigraphy.com/?p=561
      > > (Incidentally, Douglas Petrovich's response has now appeared on that
      > site.)
      > >
      > > I also preferred R to Q, and P to L, producing: ... M Q P H. N [N] [ ]
      > N ... "Nice (h.nn) pure (rp) water (M logogram, or mu, or [M]M)
      > >
      > > Contra Chris Rollston's M Q L H. N [R [Sh
      > >
      > > But we can not be sure, since the writer (who by my first principle was
      > the only person who knew the meaning) has not obeyed my second rule, that
      > every early alphabetic inscription should be accompanied by a copy of the
      > complete alphabet (as in the Izbet Sartah text, but we are still left with
      > puzzles by its author, who actually says "I am learning the letters" [ ' L
      > M D ' TT ]).
      > >
      > > CR goes to the Fekheriye Aramaic inscription for his Lamed, which is
      > abnormal; elsewhere, to distinguish them, P is always upright, while the
      > hook of the original crook(Lamed) is at the bottom. That is the case on
      > the Qeiyafa ostracon,
      > >
      > > CR argues that there is a Resh that can be distinguished from his Q, but
      > it is a head with a large cleft in its top (a bit wider than on his
      > drawing), and an unusually long neck. Actually, with these features it
      > should be Waw, if only one letter is constructed from the remnants. Q is
      > round at the top, R is angular. That is how it is on the Qeiyafa ostracon.
      > >
      > > Supposing it is W, not R, and the last letter in N, not Sh, and with a
      > Yod between them, we have WYN "wine", but in the Iron Age the West Semitic
      > form was Y(Y)N (yayin), as on the Beth-Shemesh ostracon.
      > >
      > > Without the missing piece, the right-hand end of the text is mystery.
      > Can it be found, please?
      > >
      > > After our experience with the Tel Dan inscription, are we certain the
      > join has been made correctly ? (!)
      > >
      > > And there is no indication of word-separation.
      > >
      > > There are too many variables and gaps to be reading this text
      > completely, or to be dating it to its precise decade.
      > >
      > > But I think water is a good candidate for the contents of the vessel,
      > and this was stated on it when it was first made. It was not for milk or
      > meat.
      > >
      > > Brian Colless
      > > School of Humanities, Massey University, NZ
      > >
      > >
      > http://cryptcracker.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/jerusalem-jar-inscription.html
      > >
      > > On 15/07/2013, at 3:50 AM, aren wrote:
      > >
      > >> Just received my copy of the IEJ issue with the article on the Ophel
      > inscription. I must say that from what I can see from the drawing of the
      > pottery, it appears to me to be a 9th cent. BCE form. As I'm in the field
      > and without the literature, I can't give exact parallels, but offhand, I
      > would think that they are reminiscent of the so-called "Ajrud Pithoi".
      > >> If this is the case (and as I stated above, this needs to be checked
      > carefully), the only way the inscription can be 11th or 10th century BCE is
      > if these early letters were floating around in the air for a century or so
      > (like the "floating letters" in art by Mordechai Ardon), and then, sometime
      > in the 9th century decided to settle on a pithos rim...
      > >> :-)
      > >>
      > >> Aren Maeir
      > >> www.gath.wordpress.com
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > ------------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Groups Links

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Doug Weller
      Hi Brian, Anyway, isn t the Samaritan Book of Joshua dated to around the 13th century CE, so is irrelevant? Doug ... -- -- Doug Weller Moderator,
      Message 51 of 51 , Jul 19, 2013
        Hi Brian,

        Anyway, isn't the Samaritan Book of Joshua dated to around the 13th
        century CE, so is irrelevant?

        Friday, July 19, 2013, 6:27:19 PM, you wrote:

        > Ian,

        > Great, so now we have to explain why we haven't found "made by
        > David" inscriptions for a dozen or more Amorite rulers?! One was challenging enough!

        > best,

        > R. Brian Roberts
        > Charlotte, NC

        > ________________________________
        > From: Ian Onvlee <sambacats@...>
        > To: "ANE-2@yahoogroups.com" <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:10 PM
        > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: King David’s Palace Uncovered in the Judean Shephelah

        > Dear Douglas,

        > I see no reason why we should delete David from the literary record
        > as given, nor do I see reason to talk of a David in the
        > archaeological record. Especially since the Masoretic and Septuagint
        > are not the only sources speaking of David. The Samaritan Book of
        > Joshua dates this same David to around 1250 BC instead. Who are we
        > to believe? Can we please be impartial about it? "David" simply
        > means "leader", so every Amoritic leader from 2300-1650 BC was
        > therefore a "David". The most famous "David" would be Hammurabi, and
        > his son Samsuiluna would then be the most famous "Solomon", when
        > Jerusalem was indeed the expected city-state/kingdom of such great
        > figures as a "Saul", "David" or Solomon, between 1900 and 1750 BC.
        > So we may well be misled to look in the wrong millennium and
        > century. That gives us all the more reason to keep "David" out of
        > the archaeological record until we do have evidence of a king David and his kingdom.

        > It is possible that one day we may uncover a kingdom of a real
        > living king Osiris, but until then it should not be entertained in
        > the archaeological record. Not long ago, the 1st and 2nd dynasties
        > were kept out of the archaeological record for the same reason, but
        > we finally dug up their tombs and artifacts. So yes, whenever the
        > Bible comes into play, nationalistic sentiments do distort our perception of the facts.

        > Regards,
        > Ian Onvlee,
        > Netherlands.

        > ________________________________
        > From: Douglas Petrovich <dp@...>
        > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:07 PM
        > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: King David’s Palace Uncovered in the Judean Shephelah

        > Ian,

        > While I appreciate your zeal immensely, I must say that it is
        > exceedingly misguided. I would call your perspective ‘studying
        > archaeology in a vacuum’. Actually, this is a trap into which even
        > many brilliant archaeologists have ensnared themselves, astoundingly
        > enough. So, you certainly are not alone.

        > This diseased approach to archaeology is the result of the
        > archaeology-enthusiast’s volitional act of divorcing archaeology
        > from the greater field of (in this case) ancient history, at least
        > in his/her own mind. As I mentioned recently, I am one who devotes
        > himself to the greater field of ancient history, of which
        > archaeology is merely one branch among others, such as epigraphy, iconography, glyptics, etc.

        > I constantly have a front row seat for the silly battles that take
        > place between archaeologists and epigraphers. They each fight to
        > maintain the superiority of their own subdiscipline, using the
        > belittling of the other’s subdiscipline as a springboard to exalted
        > status. This is self-deceptive in its most pristine form.

        > All the while, the greater discipline of ancient history suffers
        > immeasurably during these childish turf wars in the realms of its
        > constituent parts. No, I have neither time nor patience for such
        > arrogant and vain battles. But I can tell you this: whatever you
        > call it, what you suggest is NOT good archaeology; rather, it is
        > revisionary history, arrived at with a dash of smugness and a
        > smattering of naiveté. The belittling of the ancient written sources
        > does no justice whatsoever to archaeology.

        > Yes, if we were to follow your mantra, we would not only remove
        > David from the record books despite the Tel Dan Stele (and yes, I
        > read Lemche, Athas, et al.), but we would etch out figures such as
        > Lugalzagesi, Ur-Zababa, and even Sargon of Akkad, among many others,
        > though their fingerprints are seen all over the landscape of the
        > ancient world, even by archaeologists! Are you certain that you are
        > ready for such a bold campaign as this? Arguments from silence are
        > precarious foundations on which to build castles, my friend.

        > There are not as many of us dinosaurs around nowadays, having lost
        > a great champion of ancient history with the passing of Anson
        > Rainey. However, we will survive this ice age, and we will be the
        > stronger for it. We will not allow archaeological arrogance or
        > revisionary history to win the day.

        > Sincerely,

        > Douglas Petrovich
        > Toronto

        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        > ------------------------------------

        > Yahoo! Groups Links

        Doug Weller Moderator, sci.archaeology.moderated
        Director The Hall of Ma'at http://www.hallofmaat.com
        Doug's Skeptical Archaeology Site: http://www.ramtops.co.uk
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