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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

Gotthard G. G. Reinhold

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.

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by Izaak J. de Hulster, University of Helsinki

The relationship between the Aramaeans, especially Aram-Damascus, and the Kingdom of Israel was a dynamic one, characterized by both rivalry, military conflicts, and domination as well as alliances, military cooperation, and economic exchange. This relationship forms an integral part of the history of the Levant and left its traces in both biblical and extra-biblical sources. The Aramaeans are a topic of renewed academic interest, as can be illustrated, with the recent volumes edited by Berlejung and Streck (2013), by Niehr (2014), and the forthcoming one by Sergi, Oeming and de Hulster,2 as well as the establishment of the Max Planck Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times.3

Gotthard G.G. Reinhold’s first monograph on Aram and Israel dates back to 1989.4 Since then he has continued his historical, archaeological, and epigraphical research in Israel, Syria, and Jordan.

It was in 2008 that my countryman Peter van der Veen brought us together. While working on individual research projects, yet sharing common ← 11 | 12 → interest in Aram and Israel, the three of us regularly exchanged different approaches and opinions. We planned a volume together and had hoped that Gotthard Reinhold’s contribution could have signaled the dynamics of researching this topic 25 years after the publication of his monograph. For various reasons this volume could not be released.5 Meanwhile his chapter has grown into a new monograph and his 70th birthday is...

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