the Mesha Stela

The Mesha Stela, known also as the “Moabite Stone”, remains one of the most important epigraphic finds illustrating the world of the Levantine kingdoms of Israel, Judah and Moab in the Iron Age II period.

overview

The Mesha Stela was found intact on the ancient Transjordanian site of Diban by the Reverend Klein, a Strasbourg German missionary, on 9 August 1868. Now in a fragmentary and incomplete state, the result of deliberate destruction on the part of local Bedouin shortly after its discovery, the reconstructed stela resides in the Louvre Museum [AO 5066].

Standing some 1.24 metres in height and measuring 0.71 metres in breadth, the Mesha Stela is composed of black basalt and bears a 34 line inscription in Moabite, written in the ancient Phoenician alphabet.

bibliography

Dearman, A. (ed.)

Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab, Scholars Press: Atlanta, 1989.

Jackson, K.P.

“The Language of the Mesha Inscription”, in Dearman, A. (ed.), Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab, Scholars Press: Atlanta, 1989, pp.96-130.

Lemaire, André

“House of David Restored in Moabite Inscription”, Biblical Archaeology Review 20.3 (1994), pp.30-37.


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