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Oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem discovered by Hebrew University
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ^ | July 12, 2010 | Unknown

Posted on 07/12/2010 10:40:47 AM PDT by decimon

Jerusalem, July 11, 2010 -- A tiny clay fragment – dating from the 14th century B.C.E. – that was found in excavations outside Jerusalem's Old City walls contains the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archives, further testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David, they say.

The clay fragment was uncovered recently during sifting of fill excavated from beneath a 10th century B.C.E. tower dating from the period of King Solomon in the Ophel area, located between the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem and the City of David to its south. Details of the discovery appear in the current issue of the Israel Exploration Journal.

Excavations in the Ophel have been conducted by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Funding for the project has been provided by Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman of New York, who also have provided funds for completion of the excavations and opening of the site to the public by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Company for the Development of East Jerusalem. The sifting work was led by Dr.Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Zweig at the Emek Zurim wet-sieving facility site.

The fragment that has been found is 2x2.8 centimeters in size and one centimeter thick. Dated to the 14th century B.C.E., it appears to have been part of a tablet and contains cuneiform symbols in ancient Akkadian (the lingua franca of that era).

The words the symbols form are not significant in themselves, but what is significant is that the script is of a very high level, testifying to the fact that it was written by a highly skilled scribe that in all likelihood prepared tablets for the royal household of the time, said Prof. Wayne Horowitz , a scholar of Assyriology at the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Horowitz deciphered the script along with his former graduate student Dr. Takayoshi Oshima, now of the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Tablets with diplomatic messages were routinely exchanged between kings in the ancient Near East, Horowitz said, and there is a great likelihood, because of its fine script and the fact it was discovered adjacent to in the acropolis area of the ancient city, that the fragment was part of such a "royal missive." Horowitz has interpreted the symbols on the fragment to include the words "you," "you were," "later," "to do" and "them."

The most ancient known written record previously found in Jerusalem was the tablet found in the Shiloah water tunnel in the City of David area during the 8th century B.C.E. reign of King Hezekiah. That tablet, celebrating the completion of the tunnel, is in a museum in Istanbul. This latest find predates the Hezekiah tablet by about 600 years.

The fragment found at the Ophel is believed to be contemporary with the some 380 tablets discovered in the 19th century at Amarna in Egypt in the archives of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), who lived in the 14th century B.C.E. The archives include tablets sent to Akhenaten by the kings who were subservient to him in Canaan and Syria and include details about the complex relationships between them, covering many facets of governance and society. Among these tablets are six that are addressed from Abdi-Heba, the Canaanite ruler of Jerusalem. The tablet fragment in Jerusalem is most likely part of a message that would have been sent from the king of Jerusalem, possibly Abdi-Heba, back to Egypt, said Mazar.

Examination of the material of the fragment by Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University, shows that it is from the soil of the Jerusalem area and not similar to materials from other areas, further testifying to the likelihood that it was part of a tablet from a royal archive in Jerusalem containing copies of tablets sent by the king of Jerusalem to Pharaoh Akhenaten in Egypt.

Mazar says this new discovery, providing solid evidence of the importance of Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age (the second half of the second century B.C.E.), acts as a counterpoint to some who have used the lack of substantial archeological findings from that period until now to argue that Jerusalem was not a major center during that period. It also lends weight to the importance that accrued to the city in later times, leading up to its conquest by King David in the 10th century B.C.E., she said


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: akkadian; catastrophism; clay; cuneiform; discovered; found; fragment; godsgravesglyphs; hebrew; hebrewuniversity; jerusalem; oldest; university; written
Caption: This is a close-up view of the 14th century B.C.E. clay tablet fragment discovered in Jerusalem.

Credit: Hebrew University photo by Sasson Tiram

Usage Restrictions: None

1 posted on 07/12/2010 10:40:49 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon
Horowitz has interpreted the symbols on the fragment to include the words "you," "you were," "later," "to do" and "them."

It's a Honey-Do list!

2 posted on 07/12/2010 10:42:21 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: SunkenCiv

To do ping.

Let’s see...do to them later. Could be why that group is not still around.


3 posted on 07/12/2010 10:44:58 AM PDT by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


4 posted on 07/12/2010 10:45:13 AM PDT by Pontiac
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To: Yo-Yo
It's a Honey-Do list!

And after 3400 years, she's still expecting him to finish it.

5 posted on 07/12/2010 10:45:56 AM PDT by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: decimon

Total misinterpretation! It reads as follows: “You can get anything you want at Alices Restaurant”.


6 posted on 07/12/2010 10:59:03 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Even the earth is bipolar.)
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To: Yo-Yo
I think you're close, Doctor. I believe we can reconstruct it like this...

"You said you were going to get to the to do list later. But you just had to go out drinking mead with them again didn't you?"

We need to do a spectro-analysis to see if there are any hair or skin fragments lodged on the broken edges of the fragment.

7 posted on 07/12/2010 11:22:59 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: decimon; Pontiac; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 21twelve; 240B; 24Karet; ...

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Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks decimon for the topic and Pontiac for the ping.

This fragment hasn't got any context, although it can be read, so unless more of the original emerges, it's an nice little artifact and little more.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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8 posted on 07/12/2010 4:45:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: decimon; Pontiac; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...
I'll go out on a limb right now and say, if thermoluminence dating is done, this fragment will be found to be no older than the 9th c BC. One of *those* topics. Thanks decimon and Pontiac.
 
Catastrophism
 
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9 posted on 07/12/2010 4:48:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: Yo-Yo
Horowitz has interpreted the symbols on the fragment to include the words "you," "you were," "later," "to do" and "them."

I've decoded it!

"You were to Kill All The Jews later, to do it to them before they drink our children's blood!"

< / Islamophilia >

10 posted on 07/12/2010 4:54:55 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Always refer to the Libs' new group as"ONE NATION, UNDER G-D!" That'll drive 'em nuts!)
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To: SunkenCiv

I saw this earlier and found it a little wierd that I had been doing research the night before on Mesopotamian and Sumerian cunieform pictograms and scripts.
Necessity is truly the mother of invention.


11 posted on 07/12/2010 5:31:17 PM PDT by MestaMachine (De inimico non loquaris sed cogites- Don't wish ill for your enemy; plan it)
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To: Yo-Yo

It is the caption to a lawsuit


12 posted on 07/12/2010 6:22:19 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... The winds of war are freshening)
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To: decimon; SunkenCiv
solid evidence of the importance of Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age (the second half of the second century B.C.E.)

Presumably they mean the second half of the second millennium?

13 posted on 07/12/2010 7:41:58 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: decimon; SunkenCiv

“you,” “you were,” “later,” “to do” and “them.”

You Putz! you were supposed to pick up the matsos for later, but instead you wind up hanging out, drinking with the goyim. Why is it whenever I give you something simple to do, you mess it up or forget?

Well, go sleep with them tonight.


14 posted on 07/13/2010 3:14:02 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: decimon
This is the true meaning.


15 posted on 07/13/2010 5:02:57 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC

Rock on?


16 posted on 07/13/2010 5:29:46 PM PDT by decimon
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To: wildbill

;’) The weirdest discovery in cuneiform was when some fragments of Sumerian texts revealed that the clay tablets were changed to muhammad ali tablets without any explanation.


17 posted on 07/13/2010 6:55:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv

Hmmm...something like that needs major influence so I’d be lookin’ Farrakhan.


18 posted on 07/13/2010 8:37:36 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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