Mazar and Inscriptions

In my previous post, I assumed that Shmuel Ahituv, a well respected epigrapher, had contributed to the reading of the latest inscription found in Jerusalem since he is quoted authoritatively in the press release. However, the letter read as is quite clearly r, an odd mistake. Then I remembered this:

“Archaeologist revises read of ancient seal impression”

Note that Mazar erred by reading the seal from right-to-left, but it was a reverse image (it was the seal itself, not the impression). As I think about it more, I think she has made the opposite mistake this time by reading from left-to-right as “Canaanite” in combination with the ridiculous Jebusite narrative. George Athas is correct that this seems to simply be Hebrew read right-to-left as one would expect. See my previous post for the problems with drawing conclusions about language or ethnicity from script typology.

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