The Rise and Fall of the Aramaeans in the Ancient Near East, from Their First Appearance until 732 BCE
New Studies on Aram and Israel
In the early nineties, after Reinholds first publication »Die Beziehungen Altisraels zu den aramäischen Staaten in der israelitisch-judäischen Königszeit« an archaeological find came to light with the broken pieces of the early Aramaic written Têl Dan Stela, which has greatly illuminated the portrait of Aram and ancient history of Israel. The author offers a renewed overview to the Aramaean history on the foundation of the forced researches in the last 50 years. This begins with the early testifying of Aram in cuneiform sources of the 3rd/2nd Mill. B.C. from the Mesopotamian and Syrian area and ends with the decline of Aram-Damascus. The Volume incorporates a revised edition of the researches history and two excurses about the newest palaeographic results to the second line of the Bar-Hadad Stela of Aleppo in Syria on the base of precision photographs and computer-enhancements and presents a new transcription and translation of the Têl Dan Stela fragments. These are a certain basis to build on the royal line of sucession in Aram-Damascus and to illuminate their historical background in the Ancient Near East. Reinhold emphasizes, that the results of archaeology could always be adapted or replaced by recent discoveries; but he hopes that the «New Studies on Aram and Israel» will be served as a base for the future research of the Near Eastern Archaeology and History.
6 Excursus II: The Fragments of the Têl Dan Stela (Title Page)
6 Excursus II: The Fragments of the Têl Dan Stela (Title Page)247
The first fragment of a large monument made of basalt stone, inscribed in early Aramaic, and erected by an Aramaean king was discovered by Gila Cook at Têl Dan (formerly known as Tell el-Qadi) on July 21, 1993. Designated fragment A, this larger piece preserves 13 lines of text and measures 32 cm in height and max. 22 cm in width.248 Two other smaller fragments were joined together as fragment B—B1 (20 cm in length, 14 cm in width, with 6 lines) discovered on June 20, 1994 by Malka Herschkovitz and B2 (10 cm in length, 9 cm in width, with 4 lines) discovered again by Cook on July 30 1994, each in a different find spot (B2 at the base of a wall eight metres north of where fragment B1 materialized).249 During the Ba’ja excavations in Jordan (1999)250 and those of Ramat ← 103 | 104 → Rachel in Israel (2005)251, I had the opportunity to research early Aramaic inscriptions and the new compound fragments of Têl Dan, with not only secondary literature and photographs but also the stela itself in the Israel Museum. Since then, the scholarly literature on the fragments has grown immensely. Much speculation questioned the nature of discovery, whether these fragments belonged to different inscriptions or constituted forgeries, as well as the reading, whether bytdwd (“house of David,” A line 9) stemmed only from pure imagination....
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