1) The MI became known to Euro-American scholars in 1868, when it was shown to F.A. Klein by members of the BanÂ ¼amÂda tribe during a visit to the site of Dhib¨n in what is now central Jordan (see Fig. 2). For a detailed review of the subsequent ÔbattleÕ to acquire the stone between Prussian, French and British representatives see Graham (1989). This con- test ended with the destruction of the stone by the BanÂ ¼amÂda and its reconstruction by Clermont-Ganneau (1875), using surviving fragments and an imperfect squeeze made from the complete inscription. The result is an incomplete inscription containing 34 lines, which range in preservation and readability from complete to little more than a single legible word. The text itself is written in a variant of the Phoenician alphabetic script (arguably to be termed Moabite) and is very close to Biblical Hebrew in its grammar, syntax and vocabu- lary. The events narrated in the MI should probably be dated between ca. 855-841 B.C.E. (Dearman 1989, p. 163). However, the actual inscription of the stele, and at least some of the events it relates, could date as much as several decades later, depending upon the length of
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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