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The Eshbaal Inscription

Yosef Garfinkel, Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav, and Saar Ganor

Location:

The inscribed jar was found in excavation Area C, in Building C11, on the floor of Room B and the destruction debris immediately above the floor. The inscription was recognized in the field and thus all of the sediment from the room was sifted and every piece of pottery was collected, even if only a few millimeters in size.

The Location of Eshbaal Inscription

The location of the Eshbaal son of Beda inscription

The Location of Eshbaal Inscription



Restoration:

In the laboratory the pottery from the entire room was spread on tables and the painstaking process of restoration was undertaken in order to recover all the fragments of the jar and its inscription. This meticulous work was made by Adrian Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The isolated letters

Eshbaal Inscription - The isolated letters

Eshbaal Inscription - The isolated letters

Eshbaal Inscription - The isolated letters

Restoration of the jar by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor

Eshbaal Inscription - Restoration by Adrian Ganor



Reading the Inscription:

The inscription had been examined and deciphered by Yossi Garfinkel, Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav, and Saar Ganor. It includes a personal name: Eshbaal son of Beda. The name Beda is unique, while Eshbaal is known from the Bible but has never yet appeared on an ancient inscription.

The few first letters of the inscription are not fully preserved but, judging by the upper or lower edges that are still visible, the first word seems to have had four letters, the last one being tav and the partly preserved letter before it qof or resh. Indeed, the first word is not clear, but in the context of an incised inscription on a large container, this inscription indicates that the jar's contents came from the field/estate of Eshbaal son of Beda'.

The inscription had been published in 2015: Garfinkel, Y., Golub, M.R., Misgav, H. and Ganor, S. The ?Isba?al Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research Vol. 373, pp. 217-233.



During the restoration process the inscription had been examined and deciphered by Yossi Garfinkel (who took the photographs and thus
do not appear in the pictures),
Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav, and Saar Ganor.

Eshbaal Inscription

Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of the inscription had been taken

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

Close-up photographs of Eshbaal Inscription

More about the Inscription