Friday, January 08, 2021

The ghost archive of Maresha

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Lasting Impressions from Ancient Maresha. The Discovery of an Archive Underneath the Hellenistic City (Marek Dospěl). The papyrus or parchment documents have long since decayed away, but the clay seals (bullae) attached to them survive. A few of bullae reportedly have Greek letters and numbers on them, but otherwise the archive is lost. Too bad for us epigraphers. They do preserve lots of artistic impressions for the iconographers.

As usual, this BHD essay summarizes a BAR article (authored by Donald T. Ariel and Ian Stern) which is behind the subscription wall. PaleoJudaica posts on the Maresha bullae are here, here, and here.

The Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park has produced a number of Aramaic and Greek inscriptions, especially in the caves. See here (cf. here) and keep following the links.

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