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Biblical Archaeologist

Perspectives on the Ancient World from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean

A Publication of the American Schools of Oriental Research

Volume 58 Number 3
September 1995

Emar on the Euphrates

126 Emar, Capital of Ashtata in the Fourteenth Century BCE
Jean-Claude Margueron
Prior to its excavation in the mid-seventies, only the archives of Mari, Nuzi, and Ugarit intimated the existence of the Syrian city of Emar. The fabulous discoveries at its site, Tell Meskéné at a crucial crossroads on the southern bank of the Euphrates, still remain less well known than others. The substantial legacy of Emar includes hundreds of cuneiform documents, major architectural edifices, as well as private homes, personal archives, and a wealth of material culture. The Late Bronze Age history of the site details the nature of the relations between the Hittite power and an old North Syrian city. Yet the site at Tell Meskéné is a completely new city. The earlier Emar of the second millennium city-state archives is gone mysteriously without a trace

139 More Help from Syria: Introducing Emar to Biblical Study
Daniel E. Fleming
Move over Ugarit: Emar's rich collection of cuneiform tablets--deriving from the realities of a mixed urban and small-town Syrian community--may offer a closer social comparison for biblical Israel than those of the Ugaritic city-state. Now that the many hundreds of thirteenth century BCE tablets are beginning to receive the study they deserve, numerous features of Emar's religious life offer fresh perspectives on the biblical materials. Emar ritual texts inform us about the community's calendrical practices, patterns of festival construction, anointing practices, and rites for the dead. For the study of ancient Israelite worship, Emar now challenges Ugarit's preeminence

148 Hezekiah's Reforms and the Revolt against Assyria
Oded Borowski
What is the source of the Bible's sympathetic treatment of Hezekiah? He is credited with religious reforms, but these were not isolated pious acts; they were part of Hezekiah's grand scheme, his ambitious plan of returning to the glorious days of his ancestors through revolt against Assyria to regain independence. Archaeological remains witness to Hezekiah's centralization of the sacrificial cult and to construction activities undertaken for the storage and distribution of matériel. Despite his preparations, Hezekiah's revolt failed totally. Despite his failure, the Hebrew Bible did not forget Hezekiah's attempts to repristinate the ancestral glory

156 Ancient Coins from the Drew Institute of Archaeological Research Excavations of Caesarea Maritima, 1971-1984
Jane DeRose Evans
What do the nearly 2300 identifiable coins tell us about the history of Caesarea and its place in the changing economic world? Is there any numismatic data pertaining to Strato's Tower, the earliest settlement of the site? Coin counts begin to mount in the Seleucid period, but why do they abate almost completely during the Hasmonean monarchy? The surprisingly few international coins from Herod's time hardly reflect a booming entrepot. Yet during the Byzantine era, Casarea boasts the largest number of coins unearthed at any site in Palestine, a testimony to the significance of the harbor

167 Arti-Facts
Assyria at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Visitor Center Opens in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, and reviews of Judahite Burial Practices and Beliefs about the Dead and The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine

181 Caught in the Net
John Younger

On the cover: The site of Tell Meskéné/Emar. The newly created Lake Assad grows in the background where the Euphrates once flowed, providing this site with a significant role in the commerce of the third and second millennia BCE.