Friday, February 14, 2014

Should unprovenanced cuneiform tablets be published?

ASOR BLOG: Cuneiform Exceptionalism: An Argument for Studying and Publishing Unprovenanced Tablets (Jerrold S. Cooper).

I don't have a great deal at stake in this particular debate, but I find Professor Cooper's arguments pretty persuasive. I have taken a similar position about certain types of antiquities here (see my point (3) in my comments under the quote of Larry Stager) and my arguments would apply likewise to cuneiform texts. A follow-up post to that one is here. Additional relevant comments are here and links. In the case of Northwest Semitic inscriptions, unprovenanced texts should be regarded as fake until shown convincingly to be otherwise.