Archive for January, 2008

My Brain Is All Booked Up

January 21, 2008

God gave us beautiful weather here in L.A. yesterday. On my way to the Claremont School of Theology’s library, the view of the snow-capped mountains inspired numerous “Wow!” moments.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been there, but I went on numerous occasions during 2002 & 2003 while building The LMLK Research website, & composing my Lv1 book. It’s still the same, though in their changing exhibit they had a fabulous replica of the Vaticanus on display near the entrance as you approach the reference section. I didn’t have time to take a picture, but will definitely do so next time. The particular pages they had it opened to had their margins completely filled with secondhand writing–I was not aware that it contained so many notes!

It’s funny how they resemble the lists of material I need to find, that I bring on each of these library treks!

As usual, I figured I’d only be there for 3 or 4 hours, but ended up spending all day because I found so many things I was looking for! I came home with a 1-inch ream of paper–about $20 worth of copies. If I had to buy the original publications, assuming I could even find them since many are rare, it would have cost me well over $2,000.

This visit was somewhat of a personal milestone for me though, because it was the first time I visited an academic library bearing a publication containing my name. Though it’s the most miniscule citation possible, it appears (as I mentioned in a newsflash while blogging about the ASOR/SBL conferences) in the bibliography of a book review in PEQ vol. 139 #3, November 2007. CST’s library has a terrific periodical collection, including a complete set of PEQs, & to know that I’m now included in that illustrious lineage, which began with Charles Warren, is staggering. I stood there for a moment holding it, & thanking God, the King of the universe, for granting me life, for sustaining me, & for enabling me to reach this moment!

I’ve never done this in my blog before, but in honor of MLK day tomorrow, I thought it would be novel to list the material I retrieved, especially since my work on Lv2 has proceeded at a snail’s pace due to my full-time employment (for those who don’t know me personally, I was in between contracts during large portions of 2002 & 2003, & had tons of spare time). Some of these don’t contain LMLK material per se, but they contain nice background material for Lv2 content:

  • “When & How Did Jerusalem Become a Great City?” by Nadav Na’aman in BASOR 347, August 2007
  • Here we go again, with Prof. Na’aman inventing history; I’d love to write a line-by-line rebuttal as a separate page on the LMLK website, but I just don’t have time right now; to his credit though, he accepts Vaughn’s suggestion that LMLKs were used early in Hezekiah’s reign, & believes their usage continued into the 7th century; there’s hope…

  • “The Gezer Jar Signs: New Evidence of the Earliest Alphabet” by Joe Seger in “The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth”, edited by Carol L. Meyers & M. O’Connor, 1983
  • I obtained this for studying jar markings, but was completely shocked to see a double squiggly similar to the ones found on the Zayit Stone!!! I’ll have to add this to my Zayit page…

  • “Yahweh & the Sun” by J. Glen Taylor, 1993
  • I made a note for myself that I have to buy this book, but for now I couldn’t resist copying the LMLK section…

  • “The Chronology of the Kings of Israel & Judah” by Gershon Galil, 1996
  • I’m hoping to synthesize the most well-known opinions on the dating of King Hezekiah’s reign, & this is one that was cited in Grabbe’s book, so I’ve gotta include it; by the way, Galil is an early proponent (i.e., 726-697 instead of 715-687)…

  • “Thron oder Wagen?” by Jorg Jeremias in “Biblische Welten” edited by Wolfgang Zwickel, 1993
  • Two handles published in 1993 that were overlooked by Andy Vaughn–an H2D & M2D; terrific photos!; too bad it’s in German…

  • “Hirbet Kefire – eine Oberflachenuntersuchung” by Karel J.H. Vriezen in ZDPV Band 91, Heft 1, 1975
  • I think this title wins the Longest Word in a LMLK Publication award!; too bad the article’s in German, but then the title wouldn’t win any awards; I’ll be writing a separate blog about this long-overlooked Biblical/LMLK site soon…

  • “Jerusalem de l’Ancien Testament” by P.L.-Hugues Vincent, 1956
  • A short French discussion with a unique 2ndhand drawing of Warren’s 1sthand drawing of his famous Z2D with Circles.

  • “The Pillars Jachin & Boaz” by R.B.Y. Scott in Journal of Biblical Literature vol. LVIII Part I, June 1939
  • Only people who have read p. 369 of Lv1 will understand how this relates to the LMLK phenomenon; it’s killing me to not stop writing this blog & read it right now…

  • “Inscriptions from the Palace of Amenhotep III” by William C. Hayes in JNES vol. X #1-4, 1951
  • I have to thank my favorite scholar, Bryant Wood, for recommending this article; it’s the longest article I copied–actually 4 parts spanning 4 issues of JNES, but the material is breathtaking (on par with this, if you dig jugs as much as I do); wine, ale, beer, fat, meat, fowl, ben oil, var. oils, milk, honey, incense, fruits, etc., all for the “Festivals of His Majesty“…

  • “Betrage zur Historischen Geographie und Topographie des Negeb” by Albrecht Alt in JPOS vol. XII, 1932
  • His suggestion for MMST being “Mestu”, a.k.a. “Kurnub”, which had already been proposed back in 1900-1 by Fritz Hommel…

  • “Obituary, Harris Dunscombe Colt (1901-1973)” by C.M. Bennett in Levant vol. VII, 1975
  • A Lachish sponsor who, like Donald Brown, took some LMLK souvenirs home with him…

  • “Appendix III: Note on an Edomite Seal-Impression from Buseirah” by Andre Lemaire in Levant vol. VII, 1975: “Excavations at Buseirah, Southern Jordan, 1973: Third Preliminary Report” by Crystal-M. Bennett
  • The title pretty much says it all, except for the actual inscription: “LMLKLBO OBD EMLK”…

  • “On Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions Discovered at Tell ed-Duweir (Lachish)–I” by David Diringer in PEQ vol. 73, 1941
  • Part 2 was one of the first things I ever copied back in 2002 at UCLA’s library, but this first part on the Personal Seals didn’t interest me back then…

  • “The Inscription of Sargon II at Tang-i Var” by Grant Frame in Orientalia vol. 68 Fasc. 1, 1999
  • Surely you don’t expect me to spend an entire chapter on Sennacherib in Lv2 without addressing the question, “Who’s yo daddy?”…

  • “UYLE RUMYT BOYN YOL (Roman [Villa?] in Ein Yael)” by GRSUN ADLS@YYN (Gershon Edelstein) in QDMUNYUT (Qadmoniot) 103-104, 1993
  • I need time to study this to see if it actually mentions the LMLK handle found there, but I don’t see it in a cursory reading…

  • “Bullae & Seals from a Post-Exilic Judean Archive” by Nahman Avigad in Qedem 4, 1976
  • This blew me away when I began turning the pages–I didn’t even know these YEU, YED, & YEUD bullae existed–I thought they were only stamped on jars & coins…

  • “A New Look at the ‘Azekah Inscription'” by Gershon Galil in RB #3, Juillet 1995
  • Can’t discuss the 712 vs. 701 issue in Lv2 without it…

  • “Inscriptions du Khirbeh, des Grottes et de ‘Ain Feshkha” by Andre Lemaire in “Khirbet Qumran et ‘Ain Feshkha” edited by Jean-Baptiste Humbert & Jan Gunneweg
  • de Vaux found a G2T; imagine Gibeon field # 453, stamp # 166, museum ID# 60-13-117 with the handle broken below the icon’s head instead of fading away…

  • “Pottery Kilns from Deir el-Balah & Tel Miqne-Ekron” by Ann Killebrew in “Retrieving the Past” edited by Joe D. Seger, 1996
  • Now I know what I’m gonna get Dr. Killebrew to autograph for me if I’m ever fortunate enough to meet her again–this is a masterpiece!!!…

  • “The Tell ej-Judeideh (Tel Goded) Excavations: A Re-appraisal based on Archival Records in the Palestine Exploration Fund” by Shimon Gibson in TA vol. 21, 1994
  • This is a fantastic article that surprised me because it mentions LMLK loci that I thought were lost; can’t wait to study this in detail; Dr. Gibson has made so many minor contributions to LMLK research, that they easily add up to make him a true LMLK VIP…

  • “The Iron Age Pottery of Tel ‘Eton & Its Relation to the Lachish, Tell Beit Mirsim & Arad Assemblages” by Orna Zimhoni in TA vol. 12, 1985
  • Sure would’ve liked to have met her…

Oh, & that’s just from yesterday. As I hurriedly prepared for the outing, I realized how much stuff I had retrieved from my visit to the Cincinnati library of Hebrew Union College still needing to be processed:

  • “Trial Excavation of Two Iron Age Strata at Tel ‘Eton” by Etan Ayalon in TA vol. 12 #1, 1985
  • A nice companion to Ms. Zimhoni’s article in the same issue, this one also discusses Lachish, TBM, & Arad even though it omits them from the title…

  • “Tel Yizre’el–1987/1988” by O. Yogev in ESI vol. 7-8 #92-3, 1988/1989
  • An important northern LMLK site…

  • “King Manasseh & the Royal Fortress at Horvat ‘Usa” by Lynn Tatum in BA, September 1991
  • Another instance of Ussishkin’s famous S2U in print…

  • “Taharqa & Syntax” by Anson F. Rainey in TA vol. 3 #1, 1976
  • Rainey being Rainey as only Rainey knows how, stating “The clear meaning…“, & “It is now obvious…“, & “One cannot help but…” as only he can do…

  • “Horvat Dorban (Khirbet esh-Sheikh Ibrahim)” by Y. Aharoni in IEJ vol. 13 #4, 1963
  • One of the most poorly documented LMLK sites…

  • “Tombs near Manahat South-West of Jerusalem” by Ora Negbi in IEJ vol. 14 #1-2, 1964
  • One of the most poorly documented LMLK sites; is there an echo in here?…

  • “Tel Bet Shemesh–1991-1996” by Shlomo Bunimovitz & Zvi Lederman in ESI vol. 20, 2000
  • Just a few sentences, but a nice map showing which areas were excavated & when; from 1911 all the way to 1996…

  • “Digging Up Biblical History” by J. Garrow Duncan, 1931
  • What a terrific book–I never realized what a nice variety of stamped handles it includes–even a half-dozen of the circular cross-stamps, one of which I acquired last week from Israel & still need to photograph…

  • “Taharqa in Western Asia & Libya” by Donald B. Redford in Eretz-Israel vol. 24, 1993
  • Hey, somebody has to put Henry T. Aubin in his place, & I nominate myself…

  • “‘Emeq Refa’im” by G. Edelstein & E. Eisenberg in ESI vol. 3 #84-5, 1984
  • Two LMLK handles found at Kh. Er-Ras; it’s only 1 sentence, but us researchers gotta take what we can get…

  • “Tell Rumeideh–1984” by A. Ofer in ESI vol. 3 #84-5, 1984
  • A fragmentary 2-winged LMLK handle; it’s only 1 sentence, but us … Dang! Where the heck is that echo comin’ from?!…

  • “Tell Rumeideh (Hebron)–1985” by A. Ofer in ESI vol. 5 #88-9, 1986
  • A 2-winged LMLK Hebron handle; the first with a legible inscription found there…

  • “Tell Rumeideh (Hebron)–1986” by A. Ofer in ESI vol. 6 #90-1, 1987/8
  • A 2nd 2-winged LMLK Hebron handle bringing the total to 5; it’s so painfully sad that good photos were never published of these, especially since one of them was probably an exceedingly rare H2T…

  • “A New Campaign of Excavation at Gibeah of Saul” by W.F. Albright in BASOR 52, December 1933
  • Four “royal stamped handles all belong to the late ‘flying scroll’ type, which was in use down to the Babylonian Captivity.” I’m so grateful, for the sake of my philatelic investment, that he called ’em scrolls…

And I still need to translate the only LMLK article ever written in Russian: Epigrafika Vostoka 17 by M.L. Heltzer, 1966.

One big mystery is that sometime between 2005 & 2007, I listed several publications pertaining to Shamgar ben Anath, & I found them all at the library, & skimmed them all, but for the life of me, I don’t have the slightest idea why I ever wanted to find them! Could they be related to personal seals or bullae? Is my memory really deteriorating this rapidly?! If anybody knows why I would be interested in Shamgar ben Anath, please have pity on me & either send me an E-mail, or post a response to this blog!

At my job, I can write a computer program that will spawn semi-independent subroutines to perform simultaneous tasks, & report their data. Oh, if only I could spawn myself so that a couple dozen G.M.s could study each of these publications in parallel while I go for a walk along the beach! I can honestly say that I love my day-job, but sure would love to get fired right now so I could stay home & digest all these things, integrate them into the website, & get Lv2 to press.

But for now, I’m just gonna have to go with the flow, & trust my Shepherd to lead me.

Since I only have time tonight to quote one article, it would have to be this one retrieved at HUC-CIN from “The Present State of Mesopotamian Studies” by Theophile J. Meek (a mild God-lover) in “The Haverford Symposium on Archaeology & the Bible” edited by Beth Shemesh excavator, Elihu Grant (bearing in mind that I was in the heart of “Evolution Science” research when I visited Cincinnati):

It was between al-Ubaid I & II at Ur that the so-called Flood level was encountered, widely heralded as evidence for the historicity of the Flood Story. However, this flood level was not discovered in other parts of Ur nor in the neighboring mounds of al-Ubaid & Uruk. Hence the particular flood in question covered only the lowlands & when it subsided the al-Ubaid people returned & rebuilt their houses on the silt. At Kish & also at Shuruppak there are evidences of a flood, or at any rate of a pluvial period, at the end of the Jemdet Nasr strata, but again there is no evidence that these floods were anything more than local inundations continuing for a longer time than usual.

The logic against the local flood theory is so ridiculously obvious, that I never needed to include this reference in my book. If Genesis had recorded a global fire instead of a global flood, this local flood nonsense would be the equivalent of finding ashes from a typical CA forest fire & thinking people would conjure up a story about 8 people building some sort of elaborate fire-proof structure (like the Great Pyramid) to survive it, when all they needed to do was move away … assuming they had sufficient warning & could run fast … & were smart enough to do so; they certainly wouldn’t sit around & try to build something to survive it!

Lots of fun history in the library!

Song of the week: “Fire And Water” by David Arkenstone (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 29-second sample; 360kb).
G.M. Grena

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