maandag 22 juni 2015

Inscription on Jar bearing name from Davidic era found at ancient site

An ancient Canaanite inscription including a name shared with a biblical rival to King David was found by archaeologists on a pot unearthed at a site in the Elah Valley, west of Jerusalem, researchers said Tuesday. One of them described it as a “once in a lifetime” find.

The inscription on a large clay storage jar found at Khirbet Qeiyafa dates to the Iron Age, from around 1020 to 980 BCE, and bears the name of Ishba’al son of Beda, researchers wrote in an article published in the latest edition of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

Before the jar was fired some 3,000 years ago, the name was inscribed in clear, large Canaanite letters in the clay, suggesting the hand of a skilled scribe, the scholars said.

The centimeter-high script retains some of the pictographic elements of its antecedents — the aleph has the horns of a bull, the bet looks house-like, and the ayin a staring eye — unlike later proto-Hebrew writings.

A character with the name Ishba’al is mentioned in the Book of Chronicles as the son of King Saul and referred to in the Book of Samuel as Ishboshet, a rival to King David for rule over the nascent Israelite kingdom.

According to the biblical text, he was assassinated by former captains loyal to his late father and was buried in Hebron.

Both the inscription and the biblical character Ishba’al relate to the 11th and 10th centuries BCE, after which names bearing Ba’al, a Semitic storm god, fall out of favor among Judeans.

Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority said Tuesday this was the first time an inscription with the name Ishba’al had been discovered.

“It is interesting to note that the name Ishbaʽal appears in the Bible, and now also in the archaeological record, only during the reign of King David, in the first half of the tenth century BCE. This name was not used later in the First Temple period,” the two said in an IAA statement.


Kruik met inscriptie Davidische periode gevonden