Thursday, September 06, 2018

So many bullae at Maresha!

DISCOVERY: Hundreds of Hellenistic-Period seal impressions discovered at Maresha Israel. The ancient city of Maresha (located next to Beth Guvrin) contains some of the richest archaeological finds in Israel from the Hellenistic Period (ca. 3-2nd centuries BCE) (Heritage Daily). Last month excavators found more than a thousand bullae (clay seal impressions) at Maresha:
One of the world’s leading experts on such bullae, Dr. Donald Ariel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, examined a batch of 300. The images on the sealings include Greek deities such as Athena, Apollo, and Aphrodite as well as cornucopia, erotica, animals, and more. His initial impression is that the bullae represent a very large private archive. These bullae can now be added to the wealth of finds and the hundreds of inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic, discovered at Maresha, which have already riveted the attention of scholars throughout the world. Maresha is our richest source for understanding the multicultural world of Hellenistic Israel. This latest sublime discovery will take several years to catalogue and analyze. Stay tuned for future developments!
There is no mention of any of the new bullae being inscribed with writing, but we don't have a full account yet.

I see that I have blogged on Maresha a number of times (posts collected here), notably on the Greek inscription of Heliodorus found there. See here and here and links. But I mainly remembered the site from a lecture I heard by Michael Langlois a couple of years ago on his work on the Aramaic ostraca recovered there. See here, here, and here for a bit more on that.

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