Here’s the scoop via the agade list:
On July 21, 2008, the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli, directed by
Prof. David Schloen of the University of Chicago and by associate
director Amir Fink, found an inscribed basalt stele at the site of
Zincirli (pronounced “Zin-jeer-lee”) in Gaziantep province in
The remarkably well-preserved stele, 70 centimeters wide and 95
centimeters tall, was found intact in its original location. It was
set into a stone wall with its protruding tenon still inserted into
the stone-paved floor. The alphabetic inscription on the stele is
written in Sam’alian, the language spoken in the region of Zincirli
(ancient Sam’al) during the Iron Age.
It commemorates the life of “Kattammuwa servant of Panamuwa,” probably
a high official of King Panamuwa, who reigned during the eighth
century B.C. A bearded figure is depicted on the stele, seated in a
chair in front of a table laden with food. Beside him is a
thirteen-line inscription, elegantly carved in raised relief and
preserved in almost pristine condition nearly three millennia after it
was inscribed. It describes the establishment of the memorial stele
and associated mortuary rites. This stele is unique in its combination
of pictorial and textual features and thus is an important
addition to our knowledge of ancient language and culture.
I am very much looking forward to this presentation since I’ve read a bit of Sam’alian material with Stephen A. Kaufman.Â It seems that they have found a more substantial inscription than some of the inscriptions discovered in the last few years.Â Glad I’ve already booked my trip to Boston!