Why speculate what it is? If the latter, can this not just go on the normal iPad page?
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Gershon Galil has argued for Neta'im. The ostracon has an inscription of five lines, written with ink, which has faded almost to illegibility, but spectral imaging techniques [also as pdf ] as used on the Dead Sea Scrolls have brought most of the letters back to life, though identifying each one is still not easy.
Photographs and drawings have been posted hereand Bearman and Christens-Barry include several in their study of spectral imaging. Haggai Wp retina 2x html re write a sentence is the official epigrapher ; he presented his drawings and readings at a meeting, and the proceedings have been published in Hebrew October ; I have obtained a pdf copy, and I am very reliant on the picture and drawing provided by Professor Misgav.
Aren Maeir was there and he reported on the progress of the decipherment ; with some trepidation he has attempted a fractured translation of the text it possibly includes a King of Gath named Yasad, but we all practise wishful thinking.
Contributors to the discussion were: Line 5 is definitely the bottom line, as shown by the space below it. Is the uppermost row of signs really the first line of the text, or has other writing been broken off?
Notice that the tops of some letters have been lost, and possibly even one or more lines of writing declaring "Thus says the Lord of Hosts", for example?
As with the Izbet Sartah ostraconI would plump for a coherent statement, not a collection of words or letters as merely a student's exercise Aaron Demsky. Here we have a known script and a known language, so why is there no credible 'decipherment'?
My readings of Bronze-Age inscriptions consonantal and syllabic are often dismissed as 'fanciful' and 'bizarre', but I will make an attempt here, and also examine the work of Gershon Galil. Getting into the mind of a writer of a text is always difficult; even more so when the handwriting is peculiar and illegible at some points.
My table of signs not including the characters in the Qeiyafa textwhich differs at vital points from the usual charts found in handbooks on the alphabet, is available here.
My identification of the Qeiyafa letters will be based on that formulation of the evidence. In the presence of such chaos, we always need a large text to work on, one which includes all of the letters, so that we can distinguish them from one another, and also a copy of the set of signs the scribe is using the Izbet Sartah writer does provide that, but confusingly incompetently!
The Qeiyafa inscription does not fit either criterion. Notice that the direction of writing is from left to right dextrogradewhich is the opposite of the order for Biblical Hebrew, and also for ancient Phoenician, Hebrew, and Moabite inscriptions right to left, sinistrograde ; but there is general agreement that this is the way this text runs.
The pattern for this is set in the Izbet Sartah ostracon: Of course, sometimes NWS inscriptions could even be written vertically.
At this juncture, I would note that I am not convinced this is correct, or at least not consistently the case. This is an interesting collection of words though Rollston points out that none are exclusively Hebrewsince the ostracon is said to date from the period 10th century BCE when Israel was changing from rule by 'judges' to monarchy.
All these possible terms disappear if the lines are not running from left to right. We can see these three sequences of letters clearly enough, but, as there is apparently no definite separation of words unless the single dots function in this waythey could be false constructions.
The king could likewise come to a bloody end if we divided line 4 thus: There is a pantheon leaping out at us in the same way: Again, they may be figments created ingeniously by imagination, but vanishing when the true reading of the text is established; but we can see from this cursory examination that what the author actually meant may never emerge from our speculations.
Try the first line, beginning with 'LT as Elat, the goddess, the consort of the chief deity El she was known by name as Lady Athirat in Canaan, or Asherah in the Bible.
This comes as a shock, in a document from ancient Israel, but it is what the prophets were constantly complaining about; and more than one instance of the expression "YHWH and his Asherah" has come to light in archaeological research.
In the Bronze Age the proto-alphabetic sign for Sh was the sun the disc with a protecting serpentand the Babylonian sun-god Shamash the sun being the all-seeing eye, with the stars as the spies by night was the minister for justice in the celestial government.
But in the Iron Age such logographic use of the signs eventually ceased. Note also that the Canaanite feminine ending -at became -ah in Hebrew, and the last letter on this inscription is -t, and I will interpret it as the ending of a feminine singular noun, showing that the -at was still retained at this stage in the development of Hebrew.
Note that the Valley of Elah was where the confrontation took place between David and Goliath 1 Samuel But what is not to be done? The groups of dots that appear on the drawing perhaps indicate pauses in poetry; or they may be the residue of letters.
However, if the upright stroke is W, and the Q has been washed away but there are some traces of Qthen we have: T a crosspreceded by Q a circle on a stemD having precisely that shape, though the lower arc has fadedand Ss Tsadey, S.
My proposed origin for the letter Tsadey is a tied bag, with the string showing at the top [ o ], to go with the word s. On the abagadary abecedary in line 5 of the Izbet Sartah ostraconthe Ss has a stem with an obtuse angle on top the bag has been deflated, and flattened ; and at the beginning of line 3 the example has a right angle.
This may well be what we are looking at here; the drawing by Misgav does not have the angle at the top, the enhanced photographs seem to show it as possible. Line 3 on the other ostracon is also useful for distinguishing Q and R; there are two passive participles qualifying the Hebrew word for 'clay' t.
The two instances of M are not quite clear but they are both vertical forms, as in the Qeiyafa text. The two examples of Q are not clearly distinguishable from the R, in line 3, and also on the abagadary on line 5.Friday Squid Blogging: Brittle Star Catches a Squid.
Watch a brittle star catch a squid, and then lose it to another brittle star.. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.
Mar 10, · In the presence of such chaos, we always need a large text to work on, one which includes all of the letters, so that we can distinguish them from one another, and also a copy of the set of signs the scribe is using (the Izbet Sartah writer does provide that, but confusingly incompetently!).
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