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Oldest Hebrew Inscription Ever Found

November 14th, 2008
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Talk about your once-in-a-lifetime archeological moments. Please read this note my colleague, Dr. Christopher Mitchell, shared with a number of us at CPH last night. Exciting!

You may have heard that this summer (2008) an important Hebrew inscription from ca. 1,000 BC (reign of King David) was found at a military outpost called Khirbet Qeiyafa in Judah where the hills meet the Shephelah. The archaeological team included David Adams from Concordia Seminary, who said he was only the third person to hold the ostracon since it was buried 3,000 years ago. It is the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found by at least 500 years.

It, and the archaeological site, confirm aspects of the biblical record about David and the kingdom of Israel. This is a hot topic because the biblical "minimalists" think King David was only a tribal chieftan and the nation of Israel did not exist until centuries later. The inscription is scheduled to be published in the January 2009 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, although David Adams said it might be delayed to the next issue after that.

The official web site for the excavation is maintained by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; however, it does not have any information about this inscription. Their web page with photos includes one at the bottom of David Adams:

I understand that this inscription will receive great attention at the SBL annual meeting and ASOR meeting in Boston in about two weeks.

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Categories: Archeology
  1. Jen
    November 14th, 2008 at 07:04 | #1

    January? ARGH! That’s just wrong! They should tell us now.

  2. November 14th, 2008 at 10:10 | #2

    Dr. Adams did an excellent and very easy to understand presentation of this at our (and his) congregation, Reformation Lutheran, this past Sunday. Very exciting.

  3. Rob Franck
    November 14th, 2008 at 11:46 | #3

    There was a nice Issues, Etc., program segment that included information about this find. It was recorded on October 30th.

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