re: An inscription!

Today, during the pottery washing, a sherd with an ink inscription (an “ostracon”) was discovered!!!

The inscription is from the new squares that were opened in Area F (near the summit of the tell). Preliminary analysis of the inscription indicates that it is a Late Bronze Age Egyptian Hieratic inscription (on a sherd of a typical Late Bronze Age bowl). Similar inscriptions have been found at other Late Bronze Age sites in the region, such as at Lachish, Haror, Farah (south), etc.

Not a bad result from the first day of excavation!!


14 thoughts on “re: An inscription!

  1. Greetings, Aren, from sunny London (and for once it’s actually true – we’re having unbelievable good weather in England this week!)

    Congratulations on finding an hieratic inked sherd in Area F…. May it be the first of many! Wouldn’t you know it, though?… I get into my last few months of doctoral dissertation on Egyptian Empire in the Levant, and someone starts turning up fresh textual evidences…. (!) Typical.

    Seriously though: Let me wish both you and the excavation team all the very best with the new season. Looking forward to visiting you all in person, freshly minted PhD in hand, one day next year on furlough from Tel Rehov… Mind you: you find an Egyptian ‘Governor’s Residency’ at Tel Gath, and I might even be tempted to abandon the sultry Jordan Valley for the Shephelah… (but don’t tell Ami I said that!)


  2. arenmaeir

    Yes – patience is not easy …
    Paul – since it has not been published, make believe that you did not hear about it! :-)



  3. Bob Porter

    Good news about the hieratic inscription. Has anything been published yet about the so-called Goliath sherd? – even a BAR article? I am still puzzling over how end-of-LB-looking Proto-Canaanite letters can appear on an Iron IIA sherd.


  4. Owen Chesnut

    I’m so jealous, too bad I’m missing the first two weeks otherwise I would have been up there in F. So do these new squares skip the Iron Age levels, or was the LB ostraca found out of a LB context?


  5. Peter van der Veen

    Dear Aren,

    Congratulations! You lucky one. You are always the best. If this find was uncovered on Day 1, what else is still to follow? In two and a half weeks I start again digging at Ramat Rachel and I can well imagine (like last year) that Richard Wiskin will be ringing me again all the time telling me about all those wonderful things from Tell es-Safi, while you again stand nearby, smiling and saying ‘…hi Peter and what did you find today?’ :) Mind you this year I expect to find the Ramat Rachel archive of king Hezekiah , be on the watch … smile …. smile

    Best wishes


  6. Yuval Goren

    Congratulations Aren, from Bodrum (Turkey), where I study some shipwrecks pottery. At least there’s some good news too from Israel…


  7. Stephen Siegel

    It may be Shabbat there but I still have 45 minutes till candle lighting. Congratulations from Micah”s dad. Is that his section? And why did I hear about this blog and this find from my professor instead of from him?


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