Saturday, April 01, 2006

HBRN = Hot Biblical Research News (10-2004)

[This post is from an archive; the original message was sent Mon 10/18/2004 9:37 PM.]

Five headlines for those of you interested in all things LMLK:
1) Temple Mount Rescue Mission
2) Lachish (publication hurdle) Conquered!
3) LMLK Template Revision
4) Deutsch Debate
5) LMLK Corpus/Geography Changes


1) Temple Mount Rescue Mission
We're all aware of the terrible destruction that's taken place on the Temple Mount in recent years by the wacky Moslem wakf. Gabriel Barkay & Zachi Zweig of Bar-Ilan University are attempting to salvage as many artifacts as possible from nearly 400 truckloads of debris, & have arranged to receive financial contributions for the project through the Israel Exploration Society for those of you in Israel, & through the PEF Israel Endowment Funds in America for everyone else in the world (an organization established in 1922 to handle charitable donations). The minimum tax-deductible contribution requested is $25, which allows everyone to jointly participate in this noble effort, & a list of all donors will be published along with the artifacts after they've been properly analyzed. This degree of joint cooperation/sponsorship has never happened before in the history of Biblical archaeology, & I can't imagine anyone who cares about the Temple Mount letting this tremendous opportunity pass them by.

Here is the best page with links to tons of additional info:

I want to call special attention to the page showing the actual Kidron Valley dumps & jar handles:

Bear in mind that time is truly of the essence in this matter as the approaching rainy season may cause additional material to be lost. Who knows--maybe the quantity of LMLK handles found in this rescue mission will help push the Jerusalem LMLK corpus total past the present leader, Lachish!

As a collector independent of all these scholars & organizations, I would like to suggest that this is an excellent opportunity for the IAA & archaeologists to make an exception to the rule not to sell antiquities. The rescue operation involves sorting scientifically valuable artifacts such as jar handles with LMLK seal impressions from tons of other meaningless shards. I propose that everyone who makes a contribution of a slightly higher amount ($50?) receive a commemorative certificate autographed by Gabriel Barkay & any other celebrity scholars involved in the Temple Mount recovery operation (such as Eilat Mazar), for a higher level ($150?) receive the certificate plus an autographed copy of the publication, & for an even higher level ($300?) receive all the aforementioned plus a scientifically useless shard from the dumps (i.e., one that will otherwise be discarded due to it not having any inscription or typological characteristics). I would ask other collectors to send their thoughts on this suggestion of mine directly to Zachi. I am sure that one or more licensed antiquities dealers would be glad to help send the packages free of charge if they could include an advertisement for their business as well, especially since they'll be getting international publicity. Naturally, we all want the important items to remain in a museum in Israel, but I see no reason why the other shards should be sent back to a dump when they could become prized possessions of collectors all over the world & bring additional attention to this act of scientific violence perpetrated by the Moslem ghouls.

"As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; ... and passing over He will preserve it."--Isaiah 31:5

2) Lachish (publication hurdle) Conquered!
David Ussishkin recently informed me that his final Lachish report, consisting of 5 volumes, is expected to be published any day now by the end of October with LMLK contributions by Vaughn/Barkay. Congratulations to him for this landmark achievement that will represent another milestone in the history of LMLK research, & also for Biblical archaeology in general. I for one am on the edge of my seat wondering if this will cancel or confirm the chronological division of the LMLK seals I proposed on the back cover of my LMLK vol. 1 book! Or maybe the mysterious controversy will continue! Here is a direct link to TAU's Monographs page where it will probably be added soon:

3) LMLK Template Revision
Bryant Wood has accepted a 3,500 word article I submitted to him & agreed to publish it in the Winter 2005 issue of "Bible & Spade" magazine. It will be the first/only paper publication after a century of LMLK research to include color photos of handles with stamps representing all 5 LMLK seal sets ***and*** 1:1 drawings of all 21 LMLK seal types ***and*** the first published map showing all the major LMLK sites relative to the 12-tribe territories recorded in Joshua. The text provides an overview of the mystery for a Christian audience while noting the LMLK paleography in light of Proverbs 25:1 (as first suggested by Michael Welch in his online review of my LMLK vol. 1 book). The seal drawings resemble the 3-14-2004 template with minor updates already available on the LMLK Research website as of September, the most noticeable differences being:

a) Z4CI Thorax notch
b) S2DW line connecting Kaf to icon Tail & oval reduction
c) Z2T icon details
d) Z2D Mem connecting stroke
e) H2D icon Head detail
f) H4C elytra connection

I also made adjustments to the inner Kaf branch of several seals. I'm not going to print new plastic templates, though, since I expect a major improvement of one seal in an upcoming publication by Robert Deutsch that features a new impression from one of the rare types. Those of you interested in the content of my B&S article need to join the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) so that you don't miss this collectible issue:

4) Deutsch Debate
Speaking of Robert Deutsch, he recently launched an overhauled version of his personal/official website that includes many of his published articles, my favorite being his landmark presentation of King Hezekiah's bullae in BAR v28#4. A new feature on his website is a discussion forum all the way down at the bottom of the page where he & I have exchanged a few additional remarks on this fascinating subject, especially as it pertains to LMLK seals. I would encourage everyone to check it out & make your own contributions even if it is simply to say you agree or disagree with a particular point, & be sure to check the "Notify you of follow-up comments" checkbox on the page when posting your comments; otherwise, you'll miss out on future postings as the discussion continues. Here is a direct link:

5) LMLK Corpus/Geography Changes
Jean-Baptiste Humbert informed me that the Z2U handle published by Bernhard Lang back in RB vol. 79 #3 as being from Azekah (Tell Zachariah) was actually from Karmel (el-Khalil) just southwest of Hebron. In Humbert's words, it was a totally erroneous report ("totalement erronée"), & I'm guessing the confusion came from Lang's reference to Welten's type Z IIB 2 which in turn referenced Bliss/Macalister's Shephelah digs.

Also, David Livingston recently contributed an x2x handle photo from his Khirbet Nisya book (published by ABR, 2003). In my opinion, his evidence for Nisya = Ai is compelling enough to question the belief that Beitin = Bethel, so I've updated my LMLK maps to reflect this change & will use "Nisya" & "Beitin" until future research settles the issue the way it has for sites such as Gibeon = el Jib & Lachish = ed-Duweir, & that probably won't happen till significant sections of el-Bireh are excavated.

G.M. Grena

No comments: