Cross, F. M., “Palaeography and the Date of the Tell Faẖariyeh Bilingual Inscription” in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield, ed S Gitin, M. Sokoloff, and Z. Zevit (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns), 393-409.
The Tell Faẖariyeh bi-lingual has occasioned the largest criticism of strict adherence to Cross’ script typology. Here Cross responds by arguing that while the language of the Tell Faẖariyeh inscription is Aramaic, its script is properly described as Phoenician. While it may be argued that the Phoenician features are due to the far northeastern periphery of the Aramaic realm, Cross argues that Aramaic inscriptions of the 9th century are widely distributed from the central Transjordan to Zinčirli and from Samos to Luristan. All of these 9th century texts belong to the homogeneous Aramaic script. Further, the Faẖariyeh script does not fit into the typological sequence of the distinction of the Aramaic script from the Phoenician (as evidenced in the Gozan inscription for example). The script is purely Phoenician and does not show any Aramaic influence at all. Cross therefore concludes that either the scribe copied earlier Aramaic inscriptions as the model for the script before the Aramaic and Phoenician styles had differentiated or that the inscription must be dated to the late eleventh or early tenth centuries.