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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Volume 3: Dossiers 51Ė300.6; 488 Commodity Chits
Porten, Bezalel and Ada Yardeni

University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns, 2018 pp. lxix + 646. $149.95

Description: Since the early 1990s, about two thousand Idumean Aramaic ostraca have found their way into museums, libraries, and private collections. Four major publications covering some of these texts have appeared, three of which encompass the ostraca held by individual collectors only. This multivolume work classifies the ostraca according to subject matter and brings them together in a single publication. Volumes 1 and 2 covered fifty personal name dossiers (TAO A1-50). Volume 3 contains more than two hundred more such dossiers (TAO A51-255a) and numerous fragments. Each text is accompanied by a color photograph and hand-copy, a facing transcription and translation, and a ceramic description and commentary. The translation uniquely provides marginal captions identifying the phrases. In addition to the presentation of individual texts, there are six dossiers of tables covering all the commodity chits, parallel tables that classify them according to month or size, and comparative lists of entries. Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea is a unique source for the onomastics and the social and economic history of fourth-century Idumea and, by extension, Judah (Yehud).

Subjects: Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Archaeology

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Review by Jerome Lund
Published 7/9/2020
Citation: Jerome Lund, review of Bezalel Porten and Ada Yardeni, Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Volume 3: Dossiers 51Ė300.6; 488 Commodity Chits, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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