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

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  • Raz Kletter
    Dear Aren, About Safi: I am not LC fan and did not attempt to down-date your dear levels. Someone suggested that your 9th c pottery date may be a chronology
    Message 1 of 51 , Jul 16, 2013
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      Dear Aren,
      About Safi: I am not LC fan and did not attempt to down-date your dear
      levels. Someone suggested that your 9th c pottery date may be a chronology
      matter, so it can fit a 10th c paleographic date. I tried to say it only
      works to the opposite effect.
      It's up to you if you get high or stay conventional, we need not argue
      about terminology. The basic difference is LC to HC/Conventional/Revised
      Conventional. Simply put, it boils down to what date one assigns to the
      start of Megiddo Va, the first Iron Age level with large public buildings.
      Anything pre c. 925 places this level in the time of the united monarchy
      and means HC=Conventional=Revised; anything after that, LC.
      Since archaeology cannot date beginning of layers precisely, it goes back
      to history, to the question of united monarchy.
      LC was a respectable archaeological option andorsed by Kenyon, Wightman
      and others for more than 50 years before Finkelstein jumped on board. He is
      now ruining it by trying desperately to push Qeiyafa *up* instead of
      *down*as he tried with all other "suspected" 10th century sites.
      Best,
      Raz Kletter
      Helsinki University



      2013/7/16 Peter van der Veen <van_der_Veen@...>

      > **
      >
      >
      > Dear colleagues,
      >
      > I completely agree with what Aren Maeir has written. Due to a lack of
      > archaeological context for epigraphic material from the end of the Late
      > Bronze to the beginning of the second half of the Iron Age, palaeographic
      > dating has relied too much on the personal perceptions of (otherwise
      > excellent) epigraphists. As I have also shown in my own PhD, the right
      > direction should however have been to start off with the stratigraphically
      > reliable epigraphic finds and take the issue from there. Naturally this is
      > much easier to do for the end of the Iron Age, which of course I have
      > examined in my PhD thesis for the University of Bristol (2005), where I
      > mainly dealt with stratified seals and bullae from Israel and Jordan. But
      > as Aren has rightly stressed, we do have an increasing number of finds that
      > can help us also for the earlier periods. Especially the Tell es-Safi
      > ostracon (to which he refers) is an important find. Not only can it be
      > dated clearly to a (late) Iron Age IIA stratum at Gath (9th century B.C.)
      > the inscription is found on a hand-burnished sherds which also clearly
      > dates to the Iron Age IIA. The forms of the letters are archaic and had the
      > other indications for its archaeological context not been there, one would
      > have assumed a much older date for the find (11th cent. ?). Similarly the
      > Khirbet Qeijafa ostracon - which was found in a late Iron Age I-IIA context
      > - reveals letters that are palaeographically "older". Evidently the older
      > scripts continued to be used by some scribal schools depending on the
      > region and the traditions in which the worked. In fact already the study of
      > the Aramaic inscription on the Tell Fekherijeh statue had pointed the way
      > that we need to be very careful not to base too much weight on palaeography
      > alone. While the script resembles earlier types, the names in the
      > inscription are closely linked to the Neo-Assyrian period of the 9th cent.
      > BC.
      >
      > Best wishes
      > Peter van der Veen
      >
      > Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
      >
      > Am 15.07.2013 um 21:40 schrieb aren:
      >
      > > I'm definitely not a "high chronologist" - at most a "revised
      > conventional" and my 9th is not 8th? Would anyone seriously date the
      > "Hazael" destruction at Gath to the 8th?
      > > As to comparisons between ceramic and epigraphic typologies: The former
      > is based on many, excellent contexts - many well-dated (historical and
      > cosmogenic based datings), in which we can see tight stratigraphic and
      > chronological sequencing along with distinct regional developments.
      > > On the other hand, most of the epigraphic chrono-typologies are based,
      > mostly, on non-provenanced materials, with very few examples from good,
      > well-dated contexts. And in fact, very often, when such examples are found
      > in context, they disagree with the conventional typologies (e.g., Cross and
      > Stager's suggested dating of the ALWT/WLT sherd from Tell es-Safi/Gath -
      > which flew in the face of the typology of the sherd on which it was written
      > - and the context from which it was found!).
      > > If one reads the IEJ article on the new Ophel inscription carefully, the
      > authors note that there are two types of pithoi in the context, one early
      > and one late, and the inscription is on the LATE type - and they even bring
      > the 9th cent parallels to it.
      > > I simply can't comprehend how people can still argue for an early date
      > of letter types based on a simplistic comparison to letter types from other
      > sites. First of all, as mentioned above, many of the examples come from
      > unprovenanced or poorly contexted examples (such as ALL the bronze
      > arrowheads, the Gezer calendar, the Ezbet Zarta sherd (which comes from a
      > pit with an extended data, etc.). Also, the comparison to other
      > inscriptions from diverse regions - when we clearly know that the alphabet
      > developed at different paces in different regions and in different strata
      > of society. Even if we eventually can build a robust chrono-typology of the
      > development of the early Iron Age alphabetic script, one will have to take
      > into account regional variations and "battleship curve" typological charts.
      > > It's time to drop the concept that the same letter type appears all over
      > at the same time - and disappears at the same time as well!
      > >
      > > Aren Maeir
      > > gath.wordpress.com
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [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
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        Hi Brian,

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

        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]



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

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        --
        --
        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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