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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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1 In the early nineties, after the publication of my dissertation at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe- University Frankfurt am Main Die Beziehungen Altisraels zu den aramäischen Staaten in der israelitisch- judäischen Königszeit (EHS.T Bd. 368, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang 1989), a significant archaeological find came to light with the sensational broken pieces of the Têl Dan Stela, Israel, which greatly illuminated the portrait of Aram and ancient Israel’s history. Ever since, I have closely watched the international scholarly debate and investigated the new materials myself. Further motivation for this pro- ject came from Dr. Izaak J. de Hulster (University of Göttingen/University of Helsinki), during the archaeological excavations of our ABA team (= The German Study Group for Biblical Archaeology, Schorndorf, Germany) in Jerusalem, Israel, from 2009 through 2011. I owe my sincere thanks to Dr. Pieter Gert van der Veen for enabling me to lecture on the subject matter at the annual conferences in Schönblick, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Baden- Württemberg, as well as at our specialized ABA conferences in Germany and to collaborate on the publication Peter van der Veen/Uwe Zerbst, VOLK OHNE AHNEN? Auf den Spuren der Erz- väter und des frühen Israel, (STUDIUM INTEGRALE, Holzgerlingen: SCM Hänssler, 2013). 1 This essay builds upon research conducted over the past several decades on the Aramaeans, from their presence in Mesopotamia and Syria to their relationship with ancient Israel. For the Têl Dan inscription of discovery preceding study, see...

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