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A bull-tin dedicated to deciphering ancient scripts, cracking codes, solving puzzles, demystifying mysteries, unraveling revelations, unriddling riddles, debunking bunkum, blasting bombast, and abolishing bosh.
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 Misgav 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.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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