What legal rights did a farm labourer have in ancient Israel? A rare glimpse is offered by an ostracon (inscribed pot-sherd), which was discovered in 1960 in the guardroom of a small Iron Age fortress, approximately 17 km south of Tel Aviv.This essay gives a good, quick overview, but there is more to be said about the inscription, notably concerning the details of the biblical law behind the plea. Past PaleoJudaica posts involving the Yavneh Yam (Mesad Hashavyahu) ostracon are here, here, and here.
Also, welcome to the Papyrus Stories Blog, which first came to my attention through AJR. This new blog highlights stories from ancient inscriptions. Cross-file under Assimilated to the Blogosphere.
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