Anat Mendel-Geberovich, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jeselson Center for Epigraphy, Bar-Ilan University
An Updating of the Corpus of Judaean Glyptic Finds, A Palaeographic Examination and Several Methodological Considerations
This paper focuses on the question of the dating of Judaean seals and bullae from the 8th to the early 6th centuries BCE. Several works have attempted to use these finds in order to build a paradigm of ancient Hebrew seal script typology and to offer pegs for their palaeographic dating; however, these works were mainly based on a very small statistical sample of well-stratified, provenanced finds. Fortunately, ever since the late 1990s, there has been an enormous increase in the yield of stratified finds, their number now nearing 300, bringing the percentage of provenanced finds from 7.3% (for the seals) and 25% (for the bullae) to 40% (seals and bullae together) of the known finds. This article includes an up-to-date list of the additional – i.e., not included in WSS (Avigad and Sass 1997) – provenanced Judaean glyptic finds, including fiscal bullae but excluding stamped jar handles.
The enlarged corpus now allows for the question of their palaeographic dating as based to be revisited. Moreover, this new enlarged corpus now allows for the question of their dating to be analyzed in a much more secure, well-based manner than could have been done twenty years ago. Namely, I will address the question whether it is possible today to narrow the date ranges either to the late 8th century BCE, to around 650 BCE, or to the late 7th century BCE.