Sunday, March 24, 2019

Gabriel Barkai and Susa

BELATEDLY, PURIM RELATED: DIGGING UP QUEEN ESTHER: THE ISRAELI ARCHAEOLOGIST WHO EXCAVATED IN IRAN. Under the rule of the Shah, Dr. Gabriel Barkai was able to take part in the excavations that took place in Susa, the same city mentioned in the book of Esther (Jerusalem Post). Just to be clear, they did not dig up Queen Esther. But they did find some interesting things, such as the following:
"One of the things I still remember is how they built a small garage near the site which was composed entirely of mud bricks brought in from the dig," he said. "One would believe these were plain bricks but once inside I saw they all had inscriptions from different times," Barkai added.

"The 'garage' was simply a trick," he said, "to prevent them from being stolen! As an Israeli scholar not used to such a great wealth of texts I was stunned, some of the inscriptions were in Aramaic."
For more on Susa, see here.

The Persepolis fortification archives also give us lots of ancient epigraphic material, some in Aramaic, from another ancient capital of Persia. Follow the links back for many posts on the subject.

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