Presenting a Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea (TAO)

Posted in: ASOR, ASORTV
Tags: Ada Yardeni, Aramaic, Bezalel Porten, book review, Ceramics, forgery, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Idumea, KWIC, Ostraca, TAO
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2014-AM-Blog-Banner1 During the Ancient Inscriptions Diamond 2 session at the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting Bazalel Porten presented his paper, “Presenting a Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea (TAO).” He also took the time to meet with the ASORtv team to present his paper for the ASOR YouTube channel. Below you can watch his paper presentation, and read the abstract from the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting program book.

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Abstract from the 2014 Annual Meeting Program book.

Bezalel Porten (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Presenting a Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea (TAO)”

There exist almost two thousand Idumean Aramaic ostraca scattered in nine museums and libraries and twenty-one private collections, for which I am preparing a complete corpus together with Ada Yardeni. They are divided into ten categories: commodity chits, payment orders, accounts, workers texts, name lists, jar inscriptions, letters, land descriptions, uncertain, and no texts. Published by Eisenbrauns, volume 1 contains 420 commodity chits, consisting of ten dossiers of clan members and prominent individuals. An introduction discusses, inter alia, how to distinguish a forgery from a real text. Each dossier has a synoptic introduction with a tabular outline of all the texts. Each text is presented with a color photo and handcopy, Aramaic transcription and formatted English translation, ceramic description and detailed commentary. There are fifteen tables and fifty figures and a DVD contains three color KWIC’s of all two thousand texts. I shall illustrate each section and discuss the logic behind the book’s composition.


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