Posts

The Solid Heavenly Dome of Israelite Cosmology: A Response to Younker and Davidson

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The following is an archived version of an original post dated to June 19, 2018 . Most Semitists believe ancient Israelite religion believed the sky was a solid dome which retained a celestial ocean above it from flooding the earth--in parallel with the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. However, Younker and Davison's popular 2011 journal article, "The Myth of the Solid Heavenly Dome" challenges this consensus. In the following presentation, I present several disagreements I have with their work and lay out a brief case in favor of ancient belief in the solid heavenly dome. Errata: This video references the Tablet of Shamash and argues that it depicts the dome of heaven and upper waters. I've since encountered new data that convinces me this scene depicts the sun and stars ascending from the lower apsu with the sunrise at the level of the earth. Likewise, since taking a course in Old Babylonian, I now recognize several terms are mispronounced.  Footnotes: 1] This illustrat

Illustrations of Hebrew Seals and Bullae Identifying Biblical Persons

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My recent M.A. thesis contained my digital illustrations of ancient seals identifying biblical persons. Since images of a few of these artifacts can be difficult to access, and some of my illustrations bring out elements and engraving reconstructions elsewhere unpublished, this blog post seeks to make a number of them more available to researchers. Publication of many of these images will be forthcoming in a volume by Sheffield Phoenix. However, at present if you wish to use them, you can simply cite my online thesis : Benjamin Stanhope, “First Temple Hebrew Seals and Bullae Identifying Biblical Persons: A Study of their Iconographic and Historical Significance” M.A. Thesis, Hamburg University, 2019. The figure notations in this post correspond to the thesis. Examples of ancient seal impressing methods Fig 1. Upper register: Example of a Kassite cylinder seal rolled out on clay. Lower register: A perforated stamp seal set in the axle of a ring