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Understanding the History of Ancient Israel$
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H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264010

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.001.0001

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West Semitic Inscriptions and Ninth-Century bce Ancient Israel

West Semitic Inscriptions and Ninth-Century bce Ancient Israel

Chapter:
(p.278) (p.279) 14 West Semitic Inscriptions and Ninth-Century BCE Ancient Israel
Source:
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel
Author(s):

ANDRÉ LEMAIRE

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.003.0014

Together with material archaeology and the literary tradition of the Hebrew Bible, epigraphy is one of the main sources for the history of ancient Israel in the ninth century BCE. Although limited in number, West Semitic inscriptions throw some light on the history of this period. This chapter examines ninth-century West Semitic inscriptions and the historical information they contain regarding the history of ninth-century Israel. It starts with the Hebrew inscriptions, followed by inscriptions in the neighbouring southern Levant countries as well as Aramaic inscriptions from Upper Mesopotamia. The chapter deals first with inscriptions in ‘Canaanite’ dialects before analysing inscriptions written in Aramaic dialects. The Mesha and Tel Dan steles are the main West Semitic inscriptions that help us understand the history of Israel and Judah during the ninth century BCE.

Keywords:   West Semitic inscriptions, ancient Israel, history, ninth century, epigraphy, Upper Mesopotamia, Aramaic dialects, steles, Judah, Aramaic inscriptions

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