Friday, June 16, 2017

More on Arad 16

UPDATE: 'If there is any wine, send': Soldier's urgent request dating back to 600BC is found inscribed in Hebrew on the back of a pottery shard (Shivali Best, Daily Mail). This Mail article mostly covers the same ground as the many media treatments from yesterday. But I link to it because it includes photographs, more information on the details of the decipherment of the new inscription on the back of Arad 16, and more on the suggested improved readings for the text on the front side.

It gives a translation of the new text on the back:
The English translation of the inscription on the back of the shard says:
'If there is any wine, send {1/2 1/4?}. If there is anything (else) you need, send (=write to me about it). And if there is still <>, gi[ve] them (an amount of) Xar out of it. And Ge'alyahu has taken a bat of sparkling (?) wine.'
I don't have time to go over that text, so I have no comment at present. The article does provide a photo and a drawing of it.

As for the proposed improvements on the front, some of the new readings are rather different from what I saw when I prepared the Arad inscriptions for my epigraphy general exam many years ago. But my transcription then was based on the lesser-quality photo available at the time. Again, I don't have time to go over this in detail now. I note that the Mail\s translation leaves out the name "Hananiah" after "your friend" in line 1. I think this is a transcription error. The name is clearly visible on both the photo and the drawing.

Yes, there is a photo and a drawing, so epigraphers can check on the new readings at their leisure. The discussion will soon move to the peer-review literature, but perhaps blogging epigraphers can have a go in the meantime. (Christopher Rollston, call your office!)

Background here.

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