Sunday, December 02, 2018

Cuneiform tablet found on coast of Israel

PHILOLOGY: DISCOVERED CUNEIFORM REVEALS BABYLONIAN SLAVE TRADE IN BIBLICAL SAMARIA. The fall of Samaria, which has been known in the Bible to be ruled by the Israelites, has been discussed by numerous scholars and remains a key issue in the Bible (Rachel Bernstein, Jerusalem Post).
The cuneiform tablet documenting a slave sale refers to a pym weight, a polished stone weighing about 7.6 grams. Since these stones were in common use in biblical Israel but not in ancient Mesopotamia, Spar, Paley and Stieglitz concluded the text was written in the Levant, and reflected a business transaction regarding moveable property, namely slaves, in the biblical kingdom of Israel.
It was discovered "at Tel Mikhmoret on the Mediterranean coast north of Netanya."

It is very unusual to find a cuneiform fragment in Israel. See, for example, here and here. There is, however, a large archive (unprovenanced but apparently genuine) of cuneiform tablets produced by Judeans in Babylonia. See here and links (cf. here).

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