Some Dated Greek Inscriptions from Maresha

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3 Scopus citations


The paper discusses two pairs of dated Greek inscriptions painted on the walls of Tomb I in Maresha, originally published by John Peters and Hermann Thiersch. A critical look at their findings is afforded by the 2007 publication of the photographs taken by Chalil Raad for the Peters and Thiersch expedition of 1902. It is argued that the inscription considered by Thiersch to be the earliest inscription in Tomb I, and dated by him to 196 BCE, should be dated more than half a century later, to 141 BCE. This inscription was painted over a section of the northern wall of the Animal Frieze, and should be considered together with another inscription painted over the southern wall of the frieze, which was written a few months earlier. Both these inscriptions furnish a later terminus ante quem for the famous Maresha murals in Tomb I, and raise new possibilities for the dating of the famous Maresha wall paintings. While the first pair of inscriptions were dated by the Seleucid era, another pair of dated Greek inscriptions also painted over the Animal Frieze employ an unknown era. It has been suggested that they were painted in the very last years of Ptolemaic rule in Palestine. However, Raad's photographs show these inscriptions to be comparatively late, and it is suggested that they were painted towards the middle of the first century BCE, when a new era was inaugurated in Maresha under the auspices of a Roman governor of Syria, Aulus Gabinius.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-222
Number of pages22
JournalPalestine Exploration Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Aulus Gabinius
  • Inscriptions
  • Numismatics
  • Pompey
  • Seleucid era
  • wall paintings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Archaeology


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