Qeiyafa Ostracon Chronicle
|15 October 2009:
Dr. Haggai Misgav, the expedition epigraphist who studied the ostracon, presented his analysis of the script and the text at a workshop entitled "New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region."
This conference took place at the Hebrew University Mount Scopus campus, in cooperation between the Institute of Archaeology and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The published conference proceedings include a
detailed article with a photograph and a drawing. A few months earlier, Misgav's article was given to three experts on West Semitic epigraphy for review: Dr. Ada Yardeni, Prof. Aaron Demsky and Prof. Shmuel Ahituv.
All three examined the ostracon at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The comments of these scholars were also published in the conference proceedings.|
Misgav, H., Garfinkel, Y. and Ganor, S. 2009. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon. In Amit, D., Stiebel, G.D. and Peleg-Barkat, O. eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region, pp. 111-123. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority and the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Ahituv, S. 2009. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription - Response C. In Amit, D., Stiebel, G.D. and Peleg-Barkat, O. eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region, pp. 130-132. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority and the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Demsky, A. 2009. The Enigmatic Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa - Response B. In Amit, D., Stiebel, G.D. and Peleg-Barkat, O. eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region, pp. 126-129. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority and the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Yardeni, A. 2009. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription - Response A. In Amit, D., Stiebel, G.D. and Peleg-Barkat, O. eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region, pp. 124-125. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority and the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Colored photo of the ostracon (by Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority).
Infrared photo of the ostracon (by Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority).
Drawing of the ostracon (by Haggai Misgav).
Prof. Shmuel Ahituv examines the ostracon.
|24 December 2009:
||A final excavation report on the 2007-2008 excavation seasons at Khirbet Qeiyafa was published in English. Three chapters in this report (14, 14A and 15) deal with the inscription.
Two of the articles published in Hebrew in the proceedings of the conference "New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region" (see 15 October 2009 above) appear in this volume in English.|
According to Dr. Misgav reading: "The combined conclusions produce the following proposed reading of the text:
אל תעש[ ] ועבד א[ת]
The inscription begins with several words of command which may be judicial or ethical in content, as noted above. The end of the inscription contains words which may relate
to the area of politics or government. It is difficult to extract more meaning from this text at the present stage. We can determine, however, that the text has continuity of meaning,
and is not merely a list of unconnected words".
שפט בואלמ [ ]אלט
א[ ]מ ונקמ יח/סד מלכ ג[ת]?
סרנ ע[ ...] מג/דרת
Dr. Ada Yardeni's drawing of the inscription was published for the first time in this final report. She suggest the following reading:
אלתעש[?] : ועבדא[?] :
Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 1. Excavation Report 2007-2008
שפט [?]ב[?] ואלמ[?] שפט י.
XX + 304 pages, 21 x 31 cm, hardcover
c. 350 illustrations, 94 pages with color photos
$72 ($54 to members of the Israel Exploration Society), airmail postage $13
Orders: Israel Exploration Society, E-mail: email@example.com
Misgav, H., Garfinkel, Y. and Ganor, S. 2009. The Ostracon. In Garfinkel, Y. and Ganor, S. 2009. Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 1. Excavation Report 2007-2008, pp. 243-257. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
Yardeni, A. 2009. Further Observations on the Ostracon. In Garfinkel, Y. and Ganor, S. 2009. Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 1. Excavation Report 2007-2008, pp. 259-260. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
Bearman, G. and Christens-Barry, W.A. 2009. Imaging the Ostracon. In Garfinkel, Y. and Ganor, S. 2009. Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 1. Excavation Report 2007-2008, pp. 261-270. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
Drawing of the ostracon (by Ada Yardeni).
The upper left corner of the ostracon (by CRI laboratory).
The ostracon in full flattened contrast (by Megavision laboratory)
|24 December 2009 :
Dr. Greg Bearman and William A. Christens-Barry published an article describing the imaging techniques of ancient inscriptions, with examples of the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription.|
Bearman, G. and Christens-Barry, W.A. 2009. Spectral Imaging of Ostraca. PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 6(7):1-20.
|7 January 2010:
Prof. Gershon Galil published a proposed reconstruction of the inscription:
A press release by Haifa University states: "This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew,
such as `asah ("did") and `avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ("widow") are specific to Hebrew
and are written differently in other local languages. The content itself was also unfamiliar to all the cultures in the region besides the Hebrew society: The present inscription provides social elements
similar to those found in the biblical prophecies and very different from prophecies written by other cultures postulating glorification of the gods and taking care of their physical needs.
- you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
- Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
- [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
- the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
- Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.
The contents of the text express social sensitivity to the fragile position of weaker members of society. The inscription testifies to the presence of strangers within the Israeli society as far back as this ancient period,
and calls to provide support for these strangers. It appeals to care for the widows and orphans and that the king-who at that time had the responsibility of curbing social inequality-be involved.
This inscription is similar in its content to biblical scriptures (Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, Exodus 23:3, and others), but it is clear that it is not copied from any biblical text."
The heavily reconstructed interpretation of Prof. Gershon Galil (Drawing by Gershon Galil).
Open Letter to Prof. Gershon Galil, Haifa University
|19 January 2010:
||The ostracon has been placed in the Israel Museum upon approval by the Israel Antiquities Authority, and is no longer in the possession of the Qeiyafa Expedition.
It will be on permanent display to the public in the museum's archaeology gallery when it reopens following several years of closure for major renovations.|
||A new drawing and a new reading were presented by Prof. Emile Puech: L'Ostracon de Khirbet Qeyafa et les debuts de la royaute en Israel.
Revue Biblique 117: 162-184.|
|25 July 2010:
The ostracon is now on display at the renovated Iron Age gallery of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
||G. Galil, 2009. The Hebrew Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa/Neta'im: Script, Language, Literature and History. Ugarit Forschungen 41, pp. 193-242.|
S.H. William, 2009. The Qeiyafa Ostracon. Ugarit Forschungen 41: 601-610.
Shea, W.H. 2009. The Qeiyafa Ostracon: Separation of Powers in Ancient Israel. Ugarit-Forschungen 41:601–610.
H. Shanks, 2010. Prize Find: Oldest Hebrew Inscription. Biblical Archaeology Review 36/2: 51-55.
Becking B. and Sanders, P. 2010. De inscriptie uit Khirbet Qeiyafa: Een vroege vorm van sociaal besef in oud Israel?
Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift (NTT) 64/3: 238-252.
Puech, É. 2010. L’ostracon de Khirbet Qeyafa et les débuts de la royauté en Israël. Revue Biblique 117:162–84.
H. Misgav, 2011. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon. Qadmoniot 44, pp. 13-16 (Hebrew).
C. Rollston, 2011. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon: Methodological Musings and Caveats. Tel Aviv 38, pp. 67-82.
E. Lipinski, 2011. Najstarsza inskrypcja hebrajska. Studia Judaica 14, pp. 143-150 (Polish).
Hawkins, R.K. and Buchanan, S. 2011. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription and 11th-10th Century BCE Israel. Stone-Campbell Journal 14:207-218.
Millard, A. 2011. The Ostracon from the Days of David found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Tyndale Bylletin 62:1-13
||Garfinkel. Y., Ganor, S. and Hasel, M. 2012. Chapter 5. Greetings from the Past: The Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription, pp. 123-132, in
Footsteps of King David in the Valley of Elah. Tel Aviv (Hebrew). In this publication a new interpretation is suggested for line 4 of the ostracon.|
Achenbach, R. 2012. The Protection of Personae miserae in Ancient Israelite. Law and Wisdom and in the Ostracon from Khirbet Qeiyafa. Semitica 54:93-125.
Rollston, C.A. 2012. What's the Oldest Hebrew Inscription? Biblical Archaeology Review 38/3: 32-40.
Garfinkel, Y. 2012. Christopher Rollston's Methodology of Caution. Biblical Archaeology Review 38/5: 58-59.
A. Demsky, 2012. An Iron Age IIA Alphabetic Writing Exercise from Khirbet Qeiyafa. Israel Exploration Journal 62: 186–99.
R. Achenbach, 2012. The Protection of Personae miserae in Ancient Israelite Law and Wisdom and in the Ostracon from Khirbet Qeiyafa. Semitica 54:93–125.
Y. Garfinkel, S. Ganor and M.G. Hasel, 2012. Footsteps of King David in the Valley of Elah, pp. 123–132. Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth (Hebrew).
Y. Garfinkel, 2012. Christopher Rollston's Methodology of Caution. Biblical Archaeology Review 38/5:58–59.
Finkelstein, I. and Sass, B. 2013. The West Semitic Alphabetic Inscriptions, Late Bronze II to Iron IIA: Archaeological Context, Distribution and Chronology. Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 2:149–220.|
George, S.. Grecicosei, A.M., Waaler, E. and Hardeberg, J.Y. 2014. Spectral Image Analysis and Visualisation of the Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon. In Elmoataz, A., Lezoray, O., Nouboud, F. and Mammass, D. (eds.) Image and Signal Processing: 6th International Conference, ICISP 2014, Cherbourg, France, June 20–July 2, 2014Proceedings, pp. 272–279. Cham: Springer.
Zilberg, P. 2016. The Debating on Writing and Language (Chapter 9). In Y. Garfinkel, I. Kreimerman and P. Zilberg, Debating Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in Judah from the Time of King David, pp. 173–187. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
|9 March 2016:
Opening a poster exhibition at Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion International Airport.