Amichai Noam, Bar-Ilan University
Inscriptions in Judean script on clay shards from Herodium, from the reign of king Herod until the Bar Kokhba revolt.
“Herodium is probably the most impressive of Herod’s building endeavors…” claimed the late prof. Ehud Netzer on numerous occasions, whilst conducting tours of the ruins.
Netzer investigated king Herod’s building projects in Jericho, at the Hasmonaean palace sites, at Masada and in Herodium, and these convictions were stated from a broad perspective of Herod’s work. Built during the beginning of king Herod’s reign, Herodium was indeed one of the central Judaean sites during the second temple period.
The proposed research shall focus on one specific aspect of the Herodium findings, namely deciphering, interpreting and discussing the inscriptions in Judaean script written on clay shards found in various excavations at the site that have hitherto not been published or investigated.These shards are relatively small clay pieces containing one or a few words, written for daily use on the Herodium mount during the second temple period up until the Bar Kokhba revolt.
Hopefully these findings will both promote the understanding of daily life at the site from Herod’s reign to the second revolt, and shed light on the language and script used during the second temple period at large.
The publication of these inscriptions will contribute yet another link to the chain of research of Herodium, portraying part of the final report of the current excavation.