Saturday, September 25, 2010

2 Bargains in 2 Weeks

Several years ago, I obtained a copy of John Malcolm Russell's book,
"The Final Sack of Nineveh"
; it had been referenced by someone writing about an Assyrian relief possibly depicting King Hezekiah standing "like a bird in a cage" in an otherwise-vacated Jerusalem. I don't recall what I paid for it, but it was probably ~$30 (because like most people, I simply can't buy everything I'd like to have). Current prices run from about $50-$100.

Along the way, I discovered that Russell had written 2 other books of interest to my own research, largely due to his firsthand excavation work at
"Sennacherib's 'Palace without Rival' at Nineveh"
; in fact, that's the title of one of them (which I still don't have, but will eventually). Again, it runs from about $50-$100, as does the one I obtained last week, "Writing on the Wall".

In this one, Russell analyzes the differences in royal Assyrian palaces, specifically the location & types of inscriptions of these Assyrian kings:

Assurnasirpal II
Shalmaneser III
Adad-Nirari III
Tiglath-Pileser III
Sargon II

Table 10.1 lists specimens found on Thresholds, Wall-Relief Text Registers, Colossi, Wall-Relief Epigraphs, & Slab Backs. He found a general evolution from the first 3 to the last 2. The only one Sennacherib's palace does not have are the Wall-Relief Text Registers. I was not aware that any of the wall reliefs had writing on the backs, so those were interesting to see. Russell provides excellent photos of the inscriptions, photos of the excavation sites, & transliterations+transcriptions. Russell's efforts result in an admirable, not-too-overly-technical book that I recommend highly.

Listed at $64.50, Eisenbrauns offers it for only $58.05, but a batch of them was recently listed by Powell's Bookstores, Chicago for a meager $9 (+$4 shipping in the USA)! More are still available, so get one while you can if Assyrian palace-inscriptions interest you. It arrived shrink-wrapped, in pristine condition. That, my friends, is a genuine bargain, rarely seen.

But it's not a rare book. Nor is "Gezer I", edited by William G. Dever, H. Darrell Lance, & G. Ernest Wright, still available from Eisenbrauns at the bargain price of $18 (plus shipping). What is truly rare though, is to find a copy of this important work for only $20 ... signed by all 3 primary authors!!! And all 13 large fold-out Plans & Sections are still in excellent condition too.

I'm planning to get the other Gezer excavation books to see if I can find any clues pertaining to the unpublished H2D & M2D hypothetically "late" handles found there, that were checked into the IAA inventory back in 1974 along with the published H4L at the conclusion of that excavation phase. I'm guessing that they were found in a disturbed context, but I'd like to be sure. The notes I obtained from the IAA provide some other minor clues that I did not have time to dig into while writing my recent BibleInterp article.

I was disappointed to discover the geographical glitch noted by Todd Bolen in a comment to the article, but it turns out to work in my favor (not Lipschits et al.'s) since it's one more indicator of Judah's economy recovering & resettling (albeit to a limited extent) in the devastated Shephelah.

Another minor typo I discovered is my parenthetical description of the type-classes:

IIb (2-winged icon, divided bottom-register inscription)
IIa (2-winged icon, undivided inscriptions)

It should've been:

IIb (2-winged icon, divided inscriptions)
IIa (2-winged icon, undivided bottom-register inscription)

D'oh! Still not nearly as embarrassing as Robert Cargill's fallacious Flood article (& BibleInterp itself for publishing it unchecked). My own rebuttal remains safe on top of the Rock. The One Who gladly gave His good life for my bad one...

G.M. Grena

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