Weekly Digest (12/8/17)

Horwitz, L. K., et al, “A Brief Contribution to the Iron Age Philistine Pig Debate” (2017; LINK)

A study on Pig consumption at Philistine, Judean, and other archaeological sites.

“A Babylonian Jewish Aramaic Incantation Bowl with a List of Deities and Toponyms” by Gideon Bohak and Dan Leven (2012; LINK)

Fascinating study of a Jewish-Aramaic incantation bowl.

Figurines in Achaemenid Period Yehud by Izaak J. de Hulster (LINK)

“Iranian-Judaean Interaction in the Persian Period” by Jason Silverman (LINK)

“Astral Science in Uruk during the First Millennium BCE: Libraries, Communities and Transfer of Knowledge” by Mathieu Ossendrijver (LINK)

Weekly Digest (12/1/2017)

How Is the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (DCH) Different from All Other Hebrew Dictionaries? AND How Will the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew Revised (DCHR) Be Different from DCH” by David Clines (LINK)

“The Babylonian Revolts Against Xerxes and the ‘End of Archives’,” Archiv für Orientforschung 50 (2003/2004), 150-173, by Caroline Waerzeggers (LINK)

“The Godfather of “Occidentality”: Auguste Comte and the Idea of “the West”” by Georgios Varouxakis (LINK)

“Aspects of Aramaic and Babylonian Linguistic Interaction in First Millennium BC Iraq” by Paul-Alain Beaulieu (LINK)

Weekly Digest (10/17/17)

The Emancipation of Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1590-1670The Assyrian Empire and Judah: Royal Assyrian Archives and Other Historical Documents by Peter Zilberg (LINK)

“This study reviews the historical evidence for Assyrian control and administration in the area of Judah.”



Egypt’s Role in the Origins of Science by David A. Warburton (LINK)

“The author argues that the evidence of observation in Egyptian third millennium BCE medicine and astronomy should allow ancient Egypt an important place in the history of science.”


“Scarlet and Harlots: Seeing Red in the Hebrew Bible” by Scott Noegel (LINK)

“… a semiotic study of seven terms for the color red in the Hebrew Bible.”


Zauber und Magie im antiken Palästina und seiner Umwelt (forthcoming book; LINK)


New Publishing Company (LINK)


The Emancipation of Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1590-1670 by  Dirk van Miert (forthcoming book; LINK)

The Emancipation of Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1590-1670 argues that the application of tools, developed in the study of ancient Greek and Latin authors, to the Bible was aimed at stabilizing the biblical text but had the unintentional effect that the text grew more and more unstable. Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) capitalized on this tradition in his notorious Theological-political Treatise (1670). However, the foundations on which his radical biblical scholarship is built were laid by Reformed philologists who started from the hermeneutical assumption that philology was the servant of reformed dogma.

Weekly Digest (November 10th)

“Yahwistic Names in Light of Late Babylonian Onomastics” by Paul-Alain Beaulieu (LINK)

“This documentation from Uruk seems quite relevant to the study of Judean exiles. It shows that a cult deprived of state sponsorship in its original homeland could survive in Babylonia, which was, even for Assyrians, an alien environment.”

“Akkadian Commentaries from Ancient Mesopotamia and Their Relation to Early Hebrew Exegesis” (2012) by Uri Gabbay

“The commentaries as texts, both in the ancient Near East and in the sectarian and rabbinic sources from Palestine, are reflections of common ways of interpretation. The contact between the two cultures was not necessarily achieved on the level of the specific texts known to us by the chance of a find, but rather in other ways which are hidden behind the textual nature of the commentaries” (p. 312).

Before Nature: Cuneiform Knowledge and the History of Science by Francesca Rochberg

“”The aim of this book is to raise and explore questions about observing and interpreting, theorizing and calculating what we think of as natural phenomena in a world in which there was no articulated sense of nature in our terms, no reference or word for it” (p. 1).


Abstract: “While histories of ideas in premodern perspectives habitually understood history as divisions of fixed periods, modernists tend to narrate these histories in terms of flowing streams curving through timelines, intersections, and junctions. Crucial moments, accordingly, are turns and returns, shifts and orientations. I am not sure what it takes to diagnose and proclaim an intellectual turn or how to affirm or refute such a phenomenon, but I take the audacious risk and argue that the last couple of decades have seen a “legal turn” in the study of religions—a renewed focus on legal aspects of religion that includes legal concepts, theories, and practices.”

“Debunking Ancient Jewish Science” by M. J. Geller 

A review article of Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature (edited by Seth Sanders and Jonathan ben-Dov).

‘Wissen’ im Akkadischen, Semitischen, Afroasiatischen” by Manfred Krebernik

Abstract: “K. discusses the semantic field of ‘knowledge’ in various ancient and modern languages. He starts with an overview of verbs expressing ‘knowing’ in Indo-European languages. Then he turns to the Akkadian e/idûm, its cognates and related lexemes. Thirdly, he considers the usage of other Semitic languages (Ugaritic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Ancient South Arabic/Sabean, New South Arabic, Ethiosemitic). Finally, he widens the perspective to encompass other Afro-Asiatic languages. In all languages surveyed, K. notes a development from ‘seeing’ to ‘knowing’ and a wide variety of metaphors for ‘knowledge,’ e.g., discern, find, feel, smell, follow, pursue, get acquainted with.”

A Late Iron Age I/Early Iron Age II Old Canaanite Inscription from Tell eṣ-Ṣâfī/ Gath, Israel : Palaeography, Dating, and Historical-Cultural Significance by Aren Maeir, Stefan Wimmer, Alexander Zukerman, and Aaron Demsky (LINK)

Contains notable comments on the development of Philistine culture within a Levantine context (pp. 24-25).

Weekly Digest (October 27, 2017)

*For myself and others, I will now be posting each Friday. Posts will include articles/books/blogs. which are relevant to my own work. When available, a link will be posted to the article. 
Article on Phoenician amulet dated the 7th century BCE (LINK)
“This amulet bears a Phoenician incantation (or perhaps more accurately, two or more incantations) inscribed in an Aramaic script, on the basis of which it is dated to the 7th c. BCE. Together with a companion piece, it is one of the only stone tablet text amulets’ to bear an inscription in any Canaanite dialect, and is therefore unique in several respects.”
An Aramaic-Inscribed Lamaštu Amulet from Zincirli (LINK)
“We are, nevertheless, occasionally surprised to find forgotten inscriptions with thin bibliographic trails and no available transcriptions, studies, or even legible photographs. The Aramaic-inscribed Lamaštu amulet we present here is one such forgotten item. This amulet was excavated during the 1888–1902 German expedition to Zincirli Höyük, Turkey, but was reproduced only illegibly in a 1943 report.”
CT 53 46
Zadok (2015) notes the personal names Nērī-Iau and Palṭi-Iau. If the iau element is a Yahwistic element, this is particularly interesting because their roles within CT 53 46 are as priests.
Click Hole Video About a New Gospel (LINK)
Ancient Jewish Magic Bibliography (LINK)
Review of The Materiality of Power by Brian Schmidt(LINK)
Review of Phoenician Aniconism in Its Mediterranean and Ancient Near Eastern Contexts (LINK)
Article about the Publication of Inscriptions by Christopher Rollston (LINK)
Article on Early Judaism (LINK)