IrI Qeiyafa Inscription 2 Found!!!

The word comes from Luke Chandler. No doubt it will be claimed by the Ap-chaeologists and their supporters as evidence that Iron IIa Jerusalem (or at least Late Iron I Qeiyafa) was as literate as late 7th C BC Lachish.

Author: pithom

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

4 thoughts on “IrI Qeiyafa Inscription 2 Found!!!”

  1. But you don’t even know what the inscription says yet! Are you jumping to conclusions as some accuse Garfinkel of doing? :)

    Seriously though… with the Gezer Calendar, the Tel Zayit abecedary and the Qeiyafa inscription, it’s clear someone is writing things down in Judahite territory around C10 +/- a few years. With the ongoing excavations at Tel Burna, Tel Azekah, Socoh, and other sites in the Shephelah, maybe we’ll get a fuller picture of C10-9 Judah. We just haven’t found much from that period until Qeiyafa. Besides, who’s to say that Jerusalem was really an epicenter of the region that early? It could have been the capital, but how much material influence did it really exert in an emerging state? (Maybe U.S. states such as Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, et al. could be rough parallels of political units with a smallish capital city that exerts less influence than other, larger cities within the borders.) No doubt the tribal element was a powerful structure for some time.


    1. But you don’t even know what the inscription says yet!

      True. I’m guessing it will be written in the same Early Alphabetic tradition as the first inscription, and, like the first inscription, have multiple readings and interpretations due to poor readability. Of course, I could be wrong-it could even be a fully legible abecedary!

      I am jumping to conclusions about the future media reaction-no matter what the inscription says, it will be used to argue that David was a Great Monarch under a literate state larger than Connecticut, and Iron I-IIa Jerusalem was just the right place for the composition of large swaths of the OT.

      Gezer was in the Kingdom of Israel, Zayit was in the Kingdom of Gath, and it is rather uncertain which political entity ruled Qeiyafa. The only Iron I-IIa inscription I know of that has been found in Benjamin is the Raddana inscription, and that is best associated with a Gibeonite (probably Saulide) kingdom, not a Jerusalemite kingdom.

      Jerusalem probably did have little non-political influence in Judah until the late 8th century BC.

      Note that I am an atheist and Low Chronology adherent.

  2. Noted. I read your “About” description. Gezer was close to Judah’s border, so any literary base there could easily extend into the surrounding regions. Zayit’s abecedary was not in Philistine script, but rather a developing Hebrew script or something close to it,so I am not certain how it can be associated with the Indo-European Philistines in Gath.

    I don’t know if you’ve yet read Finkelstein’s latest article on Qeiyafa. He is highly critical of many things at Qeiafa, including the interpretation of pretty much every major discovery, but he now suggests Qeiyafa is an Israelite site and puts its beginning in late C11. His Low Chronology dating seems to be shifting more toward a High Chronology paradigm. About a year or more ago he pushed the beginning of Iron IIa back from 900/925 to ca. 950. This puts it square in the traditional reign of Solomon. With his newest article, I’m wondering how he jives Low Chronology with an early Israelite polity able to project such significant power just a few miles from Gath. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the ground in Shephelah over the next several years.

    Best wishes,

    1. I’m not sure quite what you mean by “literary base”, but most Iron I-IIa inscriptions in Cisjordan I know of seem to have been written on the eastern coastal plain and western Shephelah. The light of literacy was probably coming from the NW (Phoenicia), not the SE (Judah).

      Zayit’s abecedary was not in Philistine script

      -True. The Zayit abecedary was written in the Phoenician tradition. It may be later than the Safi ostracon, which clearly belongs to some non-Phoenician script tradition similar to the Izbet Sartah ostracon’s.

      I read and briefly reviewed Finkelstein’s latest article on Qeiyafa. He does suggest Qeiyafa may be associated with a political entity centered around Gibeon, but I am still rather skeptical of this hypothesis. The Socoh excavations will likely clarify our understanding of the area SE of Qeiyafa in the Late Iron I. Finkelstein associates this Gibeonite polity with that ruled by the biblical Saul and views it as being destroyed not by David, but Shoshenq I. I view this idea as rather probable.

      The Low Chronology proponents moved the Early Iron IIa backward a little due to a growing realization that it was likelier Shoshenq I campaigned in the Early Iron IIa than there was a phantom Iron I settlement at Arad or that Shoshenq I erected a stele on Megiddo VIA’s ruins. The Late Iron IIa (exemplified by Megiddo VA), meanwhile, is still dated by Low Chronology proponents to the Omride era.

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