Rosettes and Judah’s Districts

Remember my oh-so ingenious idea MMST was located in the Gedor/Halhul district? I suspect it has a possible new application, but now as an explanation for the distribution of Rosette stamp impressions. Looking at this paper, I noticed that most Rosette impressions were located at Jerusalem, Ramat Rahel, Lachish, and Azekah. I had already known this, and I suspected these were Assyrian-imposed district capitals. I was, however, surprised to learn that eleven rosette impressions had been discovered at En Gedi. This instantly reminded me of Joshua 15&18’s districts. However, I also noticed that Hebron, Ziph, and sites in the Mareshah district (was the capital of that district Keilah?) were notably lacking in Rosette stamp impressions. The silence at Hebron certainly is startling, considering a number (not a very large one) of lmlk impressions has been found there. The fact 11 Rosette impressions were found at En Gedi and the relative paucity of their numbers at Mizpah and Gibeon compared to the amount of lmlk impressions found at those two sites strongly suggests the Rosette system was a peacetime system. The absence of Hebron and the significant presence of Ramat Rahel in terms of amount of Rosette impressions suggests this system was Assyrian-imposed predecessor to the Perso-Hellenistic yh(w)d system, in which the two administrative centers of Jerusalem and Ramat Rahel received over three quarters of the yh(w)d jars.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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