ARAMAIC OSTRACA OF THE FOURTH CENTURY...

The 201 of containing in the book Aramaic ostraca dating 361-311 BC are almost exclusive source for the study of the ethnic structure and the economic life for end of the Persian rule in the Land of Israel and the beginning of the Hellenistic period.

PREFACE The Persian period, and especially the latter part of it, is poor in literary sources and therefore known as a  dark age of the Palestinian historiography. Written in the last thirty years of the Persian period and the very beginning of the Hellenistic period, the Aramaic ostraca pub­lished here shed some light on the demographic fabric and economic reality of an agricultural society in southern Palestine of that era, the range of the dated documents being from 361 to 311 BC. The ostraca presented in this book are part of a larger assemblage whose exact provenance is unknown to us, but whose contents indicate that they are from Idumaea. Our work started about five years ago, when Mr. Lenny Wolfe was kind enough to provide us with more than 300 photographs of Aramaic ostraca. Of these, 201 ostraca in a relatively good state of legibility are presented here. Among the inscribed sherds published here, 23 belong to the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem; 2 to the Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum, University of Haifa; and 3 are in the Collection of A. Spaer, Jerusalem ( see list that follows). We are grateful to them and to Mr. Wolfe for enabling us to study these ostraca and to publish them. The photographs made available to us ( reproduced here 1: 1) are but part of a larger find­ing, at least double the number we had to hand. Many ostraca of the same provenance are in the possession of private collectors. About 200 additional ones belonging to the Israel Museum were, for some odd reason, entrusted for publication to a non- Israeli scholar. We are grateful to Dr. Ada Yardeni for drawing the signature signs that occur in some of the ostraca. The late Professor Benjamin Mazar was aware of the importance of these ostraca for the study of the history of Palestine; from its early stages he demonstrated his interest in our work and frequently encouraged us to continue with it. We dedicate this book to his blessed memory. I. Ephcal and J. Naveh Jerusalem, August 1996 [ 7] Chapter Home | TOC  | Index

ARAMAIC OSTRACA OF THE FOURTH CENTURY BC FROM IDUMAEA


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Front Matter Half Title Page Title Page Copyright Page Table Of Contents Preface INTRODUCTIONREFERENCESABBREVIATIONSContents TEXTS, TRANSLATIONS AND COMMENTARYBack Matter GLOSSARYINDICES OF NAMESPersonal Names in Nos. 1-199 ToponymsPersonal Names in Nos. 200-201 Back Cover
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