Seeing Stars

Title & abstract from the freshly pressed Tel Aviv vol. 40 #1 (pp. 99-116):

“The yrslm Stamp Impressions on Jar Handles: Distribution, Chronology, Iconography and Function” by Efrat Bocher and Oded Lipschits.

The yrslm stamp impressions are the final link in a long chain of a Judahite-Yehudite-Judean administrative tradition of stamping handles or bodies of storage jars. With its cessation, the system that functioned for 600 years under Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Ptolemaic and Seleucid rule from the 8th century BCE through to the establishment of the Hasmonean kingdom, fell into obsolescence. This paper presents an updated corpus of the yrslm stamped jar handles. The authors discuss the following issues: distribution and chronology of the finds; their connection to the late yhwd stamp impressions; the reason why the administrative system in Judea began using iconographic symbols hundreds of years after employing only script on the stamped jar system; the meaning of the pentagram symbol utilized in these seals; and the function of the stamping system in the Hasmonean kingdom in the 2nd century BCE.

Of particular interest for self-flattering reasons, is this sentence & accompanying footnote straddling pp. 99-100:

The Judahite tradition of stamping or incising jar handles began with the early lmlk stamp impressions at the end of the 8th century BCE. It was followed by the late lmlk stamp impressions in the early 7th century; the incised concentric circles in the mid-7th century; and the rosette stamp impressions at the end of the 7th and the early 6th centuries BCE (Lipschits, Sergi and Koch 2010; 2011; Koch and Lipschits 2010).^1

^1 The division between “before Sennacherib” and “after-Sennacherib” lmlk stamp impressions had already been suggested by Grena (2004: 337), based on 13 lmlk jar handles from 7th century “Babylonian Attack” strata in Jerusalem, Arad, Lachish, Timna and Horvat Shilha. See Ussishkin 2011 contra this division, but see Lipschits 2012 in response, and cf. Finkelstein 2012.


Nice! (Even with the Timna[h] typo!) Some people would climb the highest mountain to get referenced in such a prestigious journal! (Figuratively speaking of course…)

G.M. Grena


2 Responses to “Seeing Stars”

  1. pithom Says:

    Also, “Iron IIA Pottery from the Negev Highlands: Petrographic Investigation and Historical Implications” by Mario Martin and Israel Finkelstein is sure to be good. At least it’ll allow me to cite something more than a blog comment at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: