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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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6 Excursus II: The Fragments of the Têl Dan Stela (Title Page)

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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 small- er 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 Her- schkovitz 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 247 See the Têl Dan Stela fragments on the title page. 248 See here the well known literature to Têl Dan: Avraham Biran (1993, 81 ff.), Rupert L. Chapman (1993, 23 ff.); Avraham Biran, Joseph Naveh (1993, 74 ff.), Avraham Biran (1994, 275 [a]; 1994, 50 ff. [b]). To fragment A see also Baruch Halpern (1994, 64/65), André Lemaire (1994, 87) and Pietro Kaswalder, Massimo Pazzini (1994, 195). 249 See Avraham Biran, Joseph Naveh (1995, 2) and Hans Peter Müller (1995, 122/123). 250 See Katrin Bastert, Hans- Dieter Bienert, Roland Lamprichs, Dieter Vieweger, Ba’ja- Regional Project...

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