Inscriptions

Inscriptions

17th-century bilingual collection of Christian exhortative texts. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Public Domain

May 10

What Is Coptic?

By: Marek Dospěl

Discover the fascinating history of Coptic, the final stage of the indigenous language of Egypt. Learn about its connection to ancient Egyptian and its significance in the Coptic Church.

Alabaster vessel of King Pepi I (2276–2228 BCE). The Walters Art Museum, Public Domain.

May 3

What Is Ancient Egyptian?

By: Marek Dospěl

The Egyptian language is the sole representative of an autonomous branch of the Afro-Asiatic (formerly Semito-Hamitic) language family. As such, Egyptian is related to both […]

The early alphabetic inscription, dated to the mid-15th century B.C.E., was preserved on a tiny sherd of painted Late Bronze Age pottery imported from Cyprus. Image credit: Austrian Archaeological Institute/Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Mar 12

Early Alphabetic Writing Found at Lachish

By: BAS Staff

A newly published inscription from Tel Lachish in southern Israel is the earliest alphabetic writing discovered in the southern Levant. The fragmentary inscription features a mere handful of letters inscribed on a tiny pottery sherd, measuring just 4 by 3.5 cm. The sherd is dated by radiocarbon to the 15th century B.C.E., or the first part of the Late Bronze Age.

hezekiah-bulla

Mar 3

King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light

By: Robin Ngo

For the first time, the royal seal of King Hezekiah in the Bible has been found in an archaeological excavation.

Two ancient amulets from Ketef Hinnom. Photo: © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Nahum Slapak.

Feb 22

Miniature Writing on Ancient Amulets

By: Robin Ngo

In 1979, archaeologist Gabriel Barkay discovered two miniature silver scrolls from a late Iron Age (seventh century B.C.E.) tomb in Ketef Hinnom outside of Jerusalem. When unrolled, the scrolls had tiny texts written on them—similar to the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24–26.

Ark Tablet

Feb 15

The Animals Went in Two by Two, According to Babylonian Ark Tablet

By: Noah Wiener

A recently translated Old Babylonian flood tablet describes how to build a circular ark.

Ostracon

Dec 28

The Oldest Hebrew Script and Language

By: BAS Staff

In a BAR article, epigraphy scholar Christopher Rollston asks a seemingly straightforward question: What is the oldest Hebrew inscription?

arad-ostraca

Nov 30

When Was the Hebrew Bible Written?

By: Robin Ngo

When was the Hebrew Bible written? Ostraca with Hebrew inscriptions excavated from the Iron Age fortress at Arad in Israel may provide clues, say researchers from Tel Aviv University.

tel-dan-stele

Sep 5

The Tel Dan Inscription: The First Historical Evidence of King David from the Bible

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Few modern Biblical archaeology discoveries have attracted as much attention as the Tel Dan inscription—writing on a ninth-century B.C. stone slab (or stela) that furnished the first historical evidence of King David from the Bible.

Aug 25

Why Mesha’s “House of David” Remains Hypothetical 

By: Matthieu Richelle and Andrew Burlingame 

In their article, “Mesha’s Stele and the House of David” (BAR, Winter 2022), André Lemaire and Jean-Philippe Delorme argue that the reading btdwd (“House of […]