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Brian Janeway

Did an invasion of the Sea Peoples cause the collapse of the Late Bronze Age palace-based economies of the Levant, as well as of the Hittite Empire? Renewed excavations at Tell Tayinat in southeast Turkey are shedding new light on the critical transitional phase of the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age (ca. 1200–1000 B.C.), a period that in the Northern Levant has until recently been considered a “Dark Age,” due in large part to the few extant textual sources relating to its history. However, recently discovered epigraphic data from both the site and the surrounding region suggest the formation of an Early Iron Age kingdom that fused Hieroglyphic Luwian monumental script with a strong component of Aegeanizing cultural elements. The capital of this putative/erstwhile kingdom appears to have been located at Tell Tayinat in the Amuq Valley.
More specifically, this formal stylistic analysis examines a distinctive painted pottery known as Late Helladic IIIC found at the site of Tayinat during several seasons of excavation. The assemblage includes examples of Aegean-style bowls, kraters, and amphorae bearing an array of distinctive decorative features. A key objective of the study distinguishes Aegean stylistic characteristics both in form and in painted motifs from those inspired by the indigenous culture.
Drawing on a wide range of parallels from Philistia through the Levant, Anatolia, the Aegean Sea, the Greek Mainland, and Cyprus, this research begins to fill a longstanding lacuna in the Amuq Valley and attempts to correlate with major historical and cultural trends in the Northern Levant and beyond.

A Concise Lexicon of Late Biblical Hebrew

Linguistic Innovations in the Writings of the Second Temple Period

Avi Hurvitz

The Hebrew language may be divided into the Biblical, Mishnaic, Medieval, and Modern ‎periods. Biblical Hebrew has its own distinct linguistic profile, exhibiting a diversity of styles ‎and linguistic traditions extending over some one thousand years as well as tangible diachronic ‎developments that may serve as chronological milestones in tracing the linguistic history of ‎Biblical Hebrew. Unlike standard dictionaries, whose scope and extent are dictated by the contents of the ‎Biblical concordance, this lexicon includes only 80 lexical entries, chosen specifically for a ‎diachronic investigation of Late Biblical Hebrew. Selected primarily to illustrate the fifth-century ‘watershed’ separating Classical from ‎post-Classical Biblical Hebrew, emphasis is placed on ‘linguistic contrasts’ illuminated by a rich collection ‎of examples contrasting Classical Biblical Hebrew with Late Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew with Rabbinic Hebrew, and Hebrew with Aramaic.‎

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William G. Dever

This volume is the final report of excavations carried out in the Hebron hills and the Negev desert in 1967-1980 on behalf of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and the University of Arizona. They were pioneering, multidisciplinary projects that helped to illuminate what was then a poorly known “Dark Age” in the cultural history of ancient Palestine, a nonurban interlude of pastoral nomadic movements over several centuries (ca. 2400–2000 B.C.E.) between the great urban civilizations of the early Bronze Ages. Eighteen appendixes by specialists in many disciplines analyze all aspects of material culture and human and animal remains. A history of previous scholarship and a synthesis of the EB IV period in both Israel and Jordan conclude the volume, which will be a landmark study for many years.

Transitivity and Object Marking in Biblical Hebrew

An Investigation of the Object Preposition 'Et

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Peter Bekins

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Ohad Cohen

This study offers a synchronic and diachronic account of the Biblical Hebrew verbal tense system during the Second Temple period, based on the books of Esther, Daniel, and Ezra and Nehemiah, along with the non-synoptic parts of Chronicles. In analyzing the development of this system, Cohen discerns the changes that mark the transition from the classical era to the Second Temple period.
The book is divided into two main parts: a survey of previous research along with the methodology of the present study; and a descriptive analysis of the verbal system in late biblical prose literature. In the first section, the author discusses the eclectic nature of the biblical corpus, including the ramifications of this heterogeneity on linguistic efforts to for­mulate a synchronic structural account of its texts. Moreover, he surveys the principal linguistic concepts of tense, aspect, and mood, and the ver­bal paradigm’s complex nature. The second part of the book offers a synchronic account of the Second Temple period verbal system. It features a categorical breakdown and analysis of all the verb forms in the corpus’s prose texts. The author examines the reasons behind these changes by dint of a diachronic comparison with other strata of the Hebrew language—namely, biblical texts of the First Temple period, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the language of the Sages.

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John Huehnergard

Professor Huehnergard's key to his extensive Akkadian Grammar will be welcomed by teacher and student alike. Please note that this third edition of the key is a revision that complements the third edition of the Grammar, incorporating a number of corrections.

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Ephraim Stern

This monograph is the product of Stern's two decades of excavation at Tel Dor on the Carmel Coast, a city that Egyptian sources indicate was ruled in the eleventh century BCE by a Sikil king. Near the end of the period during which he directed excavations there, Stern began to notice the unique material culture of the Northern Sea Peoples and connected this material with discoveries in adjacent regions and in the north of Israel. A related survey of the ‘Akko Valley conducted by Avner Raban resulted in a further accumulation of data that supported the conclusion that the Sea Peoples that Egyptian sources indicated had settled in this region had in fact left behind evidence of their presence. This realization preceded the appearance of additional information—both material culture and inscriptions—that reflected the presence of Northern Sea Peoples throughout portions of northern Syria and southern Anatolia.
Two main principles guide Stern's study. (1) Historical sources provide the best evidence for contemporary events—in this case, specifically, the evidence concerns the Sikils and Sherden, as well as biblical sources that refer to Northern Sea Peoples as "Philistines" and that recount their wars with Israel in the north of the land, in the Jezreel Valley, and in Gilboa. (2) Ethnic archaeology is a genuine concept: every people that settles in any area naturally leaves marks of its own culture. The conclusion that is traced here, then, is that the culture of the Northern Sea Peoples, though difficult to identify, nonetheless did leave clear evidence that becomes apparent when the relevant strata at sites along the coast from the Yarkon and farther north and in the 'Akko and Jezreel Valleys are examined.
In this volume Stern presents the most complete picture that can be drawn from the evidence uncovered in the past few decades. Lavish illustrations accompany the discussion.

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John Huehnergard

In the third edition of A Grammar of Akkadian, changes have been made in the section on the nom­i­n­al morpheme -ån (§20.2) and the sections on the meaning of the D stem (§24.3) and the Gt stem (§33.1(b)); these revisions reflect recent scholarship in Akkadian grammar. Other changes include minor revisions in wording in the presentation of the grammar in a few other sections; a number of new notes to some of the readings; additions to the glosses of a small number of words in the lesson vocabularies (and the Glossary and English–Akkadian word list); and updates of the resources available for the study of Akkadian, and of the bibliography. A new appendix (F) has been added, giving Hebrew and other Semitic cognates of the Akkadian words in the lesson vocabularies. The pagination of the first and second editions has for the most part been retained, apart from the insertion of the new appendix and a few minor deviations elsewhere.

Studies in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic

Based upon Early Eastern Manuscripts

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Matthew Morgenstern

This book is the first wide-ranging study of the grammar of the Babylonian Aramaic used in the Talmud and post-Talmudic Babylonian literature (henceforth: Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic) to be published in English in a century. The book takes as its starting point the long-recognized problem of the corrupt nature of the later textual witnesses of Babylonian Rabbinic literature and seeks both to establish criteria for the identification of accurate textual witnesses and describe the grammar of Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic. The book is both programmatic and descriptive: it lays the foundations for future research into the dialect while clarifying numerous points of grammar, many of which have not been discussed systematically in the available scholarly literature.
Following a critical survey of the currently available scholarly tools, the book considers the rôle of the Yemenite textual and reading traditions in the study of Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic. While some previous authorities have regarded this tradition as a primary source for grammatical study of the dialect, by comparing the data of the earliest manuscripts to the forms employed in the Yemenite traditions, the present book demonstrates that the Yemenite traditions have been subject to secondary changes. Accordingly, it is concluded here that only the early eastern manuscripts preserve the dialect in its original form.The next chapter considers the problem of linguistic variation within the corpus. It is well established that the Talmudic literature employs a wide range of alternative grammatical forms. Several explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon. Some authorities have suggested that it arises from dialectal differences, while others have proposed that it represents the use of different literary registers. An alternative explanation is that the language was altered during the course of textual transmission. This study shows that none of these explanations can account for the wide extent of the phenomenon, which is found in the best textual witnesses and in ostensibly uniform contexts. It is argued that all of proposed explanations may partially account for the interchanges but, ultimately, the lack of a literary standard leads to the use of different forms.
Syntax is often regarded as being one of the linguistic areas least affected by textual transmission. However, the early manuscripts show that Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic employs a defined series of syntactic structures to mark the direct object. This clearly defined complimentary distribution is lost in the later textual witnesses, which use the structures interchangeably. It is thus shown that, for syntactic study, too, only a small group of textual witnesses can be regarded as reliable.