Tel Dan Inscription
A Critical Investigation of Recent Research
on Its Palaeography & Philology
Studia Semantica Upsaliensia 22
By Hallvard Hagelia
Uppsala University Press
Distributed by Coronet Books
250 pages, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
$59.50 paper original
The so called Tel Dan inscription was found on Tel Dan in northern Israel in 1993 and 1994. The fragmented inscription is written in ancient Aramaic. Its originator is supposed to be an Aramaic king, probably king Hazael of Damascus, who brags about defeating two kings from Israel and Juda. If so, it should be dated in the late 9th century BCE, and is probably the oldest documentation of the name "Israel" from the Levant. The text mentions bytdwd, which most scholars translate "House of David". If that is a correct translation, we have the oldest non-biblical reference to King David of Jerusalem or his dynasty. The text is of miliatary content.
This is a royal inscription, and as such parallel to a few other historical Aramaic inscriptions from first half of the last millennium BCE.
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