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NEW ALPHABETIC INSCRIPTION FROM ZINCIRLI

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  • fdscalf
    NEW ALPHABETIC INSCRIPTION FROM ZINCIRLI On July 21, 2008, the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli, directed by Prof. David Schloen of the University of Chicago
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2008
      NEW ALPHABETIC INSCRIPTION FROM ZINCIRLI

      On July 21, 2008, the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli, directed by
      Prof. David Schloen of the University of Chicago and by associate
      director Amir Fink, found an inscribed basalt stele at the site of
      Zincirli (pronounced "Zin-jeer-lee") in Gaziantep province in
      southeastern Turkey. The remarkably well-preserved stele, 70
      centimeters wide and 95 centimeters tall, was found intact in its
      original location. It was set into a stone wall with its protruding
      tenon still inserted into the stone-paved floor. The alphabetic
      inscription on the stele is written in Sam'alian, the language spoken
      in the region of Zincirli (ancient Sam'al) during the Iron Age. It
      commemorates the life of "Kattammuwa servant of Panamuwa," probably a
      high official of King Panamuwa, who reigned during the eighth century
      B.C. A bearded figure is depicted on the stele, seated in a chair in
      front of a table laden with food. Beside him is a thirteen-line
      inscription, elegantly carved in raised relief and preserved in almost
      pristine condition nearly three millennia after it was inscribed. It
      describes the establishment of the memorial stele and associated
      mortuary rites. This stele is unique in its combination of pictorial
      and textual features and thus is an important addition to our
      knowledge of ancient language and culture. An analysis and translation
      of the inscription will be presented by Prof. Dennis Pardee of the
      University of Chicago at the November 2008 meeting of the Society for
      Biblical Literature in Boston and will be published soon thereafter.

      Zincirli is the site of the ancient walled city of Sam'al, capital of
      an Iron Age kingdom that inherited both West Semitic and Neo-Hittite
      (Luwian) cultural traditions. The 40-hectare (100-acre) site was first
      excavated more than a hundred years ago and produced a number of royal
      inscriptions and other fascinating finds that are on display in
      various museums. Since 2006, Zincirli has been excavated annually by a
      team from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago¬óthe
      Neubauer Expedition, a large-scale and long-term project of
      archaeological research at this important site.

      Posted by Foy Scalf (scalffd@...)
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