A Short Note about the Purported Decipherment of a New Inscription from Jerusalem
The recently announced interpretation of an inscription found near Jerusalem's perennial spring has not been published. Neither have the excavations that uncovered it.
Some rather significant claims made in an announcement yesterday are recapped in this short article (and here, certainly with more outlets to follow), including that an inscription written on a limestone slab was found in Jerusalem above the Gihon Spring (Umm ed-Daraj) in a Middle Bronze Age temple(!). The inscription was deciphered by Prof. Gershon Galil and is understood to be a curse against the governor of the city (שר הער). Readers who are on Facebook can read Galil’s full translation and more details in his post here.
As with the Ebal curse inscription announced earlier this year, I think this claim should be taken with a very large bucket of salt. For one thing, both the style of Prof. Galil's drawing of the inscription’s letters and the content of this inscription are strangely similar to those of the Ebal inscription (2022 seems indeed to be the year of the curse).
More importantly, neither the inscription nor an excavation report for the area where the inscription was found have been published.In the meantime, no one with the expertise to evaluate these very significant claims is currently able to do so. Since the inscription was found ten years ago, one wonders if it could have waited another few months for an announcement to the public that was contemporaneous with its scientific publication.
The area was excavated by Eli Shukron. The final excavation report should be interesting as this was also one of the locations where Montagu Parker and H. L. Vincent excavated from 1909-1911.