Monday, April 15, 2013

Seaside Search

Freshly launched website announcing upcoming work at a potential LMLK site, Ashdod-Yam, in a search for historical clarity:

"[T]here is no shortage of possible scenarios concerning the fate of Ashdod-Yam during the Iron Age. ... [O]ur archaeological understanding of site's history is rather modest since the site remains virtually unexcavated. It is time to conduct a full-scale archaeological excavation at the Iron Age compound of Ashdod-Yam. Such an endeavor will have the potential to make a significant contribution to the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean and beyond."

One stray, multi-stamped G2T handle was found at the inland Ashdod site, making it the western-most LMLK site in Israel. This new excavation may push the border much closer to the sea, so let the searching begin!

G.M. Grena

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Modern Ancient Art Mystery

Here are photos of 2 modern works-of-art that caught my attention last month:

They bear the same ancient inscription, & I initially thought that a modern artist would choose one of the best-known Paleo-Hebrew texts to replicate, but this one puzzled me; I was disappointed in myself for not recognizing the artifact without doing a bit of research.

I thought it would be fun to give all 3 of my regular readers the opportunity to see if they could identify it easier/quicker than I could.

In the 1st photo showing the right half of the text, I cropped off the left half because it shows a map identifying the site it came from.

I rotated the 2nd photo showing front/back images of the object because the artist obviously isn't familiar with the script. The photographer did a decent job of getting most of the letters as they wrap around in the images; but I can't vouch for whether the object actually contains the entire inscription. I suspect that some of it is truncated.

I'll kick off this prize-less contest by giving 2 somewhat obvious hints:

1) The object is LMLK-related in some way.

2) It contains 2 instances of "MLK" (only 1 is visible in the photos, & it's not obvious).

For the savvy Biblical archeology sleuth, those should be sufficient since there ain't that many published texts. There are a couple of obvious keywords that will give it away if you have a corpus of ANE inscriptions.

Assuming that none of my 3 readers are that savvy, I will post additional hints in comments but only after 2 readers post guesses. And most importantly, in an effort to discourage arbitrary, rapid-fire, multiple guesses from any one person (named pithom), I will not approve a 2nd guess by anyone until at least one other person guesses, so make your first guess a really "good" one! I know you're able.

G.M. Grena