A cuneiform tablet from the Ophel in Jerusalem

Eilat Mazar, Wayne Horowitz, Takayoshi Oshima, Yuval Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A small fragment of a Late Bronze Age letter in Akkadian was discovered in the Ophel excavations in Jerusalem. Its sign-forms suggest that it is a rough contemporary of the Amarna letters, including the letters of Abdi-Heba, the ruler of Jerusalem. The analysis of the tablet by optical mineralogy, supported by XRF spectrometry, reveals that its raw material is typical of the Terra Rossa soils of the Central Hill Country. It is suggested, therefore, that it was a local product of Jerusalem scribes, made of locally available soil. This, coupled with the fact that its find site is close to what must have been the acropolis of LB Jerusalem, makes it likely that the letter fragment does in fact come from a letter of a king of Jerusalem. It may well be an archival copy of a letter from Jerusalem to the Pharoah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
JournalIsrael Exploration Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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