Thursday, June 15, 2017

New readings on an Arad ostracon

EPIGRAPHY AND TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Revolutionary technology reveals dazzling ‘hidden’ text on biblical-era shard. Pottery from almost 3,000 years ago found to feature previously unseen rare First Temple Hebrew writing; other finds from same era now also to be reinvestigated (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel). You have to read pretty far into this article before it addresses the obvious question — What does it say? But we do get there eventually:
Ostacon No. 16 is a letter sent to Elyashiv from Hananyahu — the team speculates he was a quartermaster in Beersheba — and discusses the transfer of silver. After the MS imaging experiment, newly discovered inscriptions show that Hananyahu also asked for wine.
I think they mean newly discovered letters — on the back of the ostracon, which appears blank to the naked eye.

The readable inscription on the front of Arad 16 is badly damaged after the first three lines. According to the article, the new multispectral imaging process has also clarified the readings on that side.

More please. Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.

The AWOL Blog has a link to the new PLOS ONE article on which the above story is based.

UPDATE: Incorrect link now fixed!

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