[b-hebrew] Josiah's book of the Law

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 01:10:00 EDT 2005

Dora Smith  wrote:
> How specifically did they spell "Jerusalem"? 

In the Execration Texts it is called 3w-$3-mm = "(u)ru$alim".  The
last m represents an
additional "m", ie, something like "uru$alimum", but this extra "m" is
very common to
many place names in the Execration Texts, such as ")PQM" = Apheq, "$KMM" = 
Shechem.  In the Amarna letters "urusalim".  In an Assyrian document on 
Sennacherib's campaign to Judah, "urusalimmu".  [From The History of
Jerusalem: The
Biblical Period, ed. Shmuel Ahituv, Amihai Mazar, Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi
Press, 2000].

The Amarna Jerusalem is very hard to identify as someplace else,
because the various
letters do give us a general idea of its geographic location.  I would
warn against assuming
that because there are very few settlements, the entire land of Canaan had been 
depopulated.  It could be for example that at this period large
elements of the population
had assumed a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle and thus are not represented in
the archaeological record.  In fact, it is my understanding that if it
weren't for the
discovery of the Amarna letters, the entire "city-state" of Jerusalem
would have been
considered an entirely depopulated area.  So while most of Canaan appears to be
depopulated, it could be that it was just as populated but much of the
assumed a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle and after 1200 when they began to
settle again, we see all the little settlements in the archaeological record.

Also, very little building activity is noted for the Amarna period but
Bunimovitz has
argued that this was because of lack of funds and workforce for building new 
buildings.  Rather, the inhabitants might have made use of earlier
buildings from
the Middle Bronze Age.  [  Bunimovitz, S. 1994. The Problem of Human
Resources in
Late Bronze Age Palestine and its Socioeconomic Implications. 
26:1-20. ]

Yitzhak Sapir

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list