The Mesha Stele: Artifact Deep Dive

The Mesha Stele: Artifact Deep Dive

The Mesha Stele is an incredibly artifact which was found at the site of Dibon in modern Jordan. It is the longest narrative historical text found in the Iron Age Levant to date. It has a fascinating story of discovery and offers important insights into ancient Moab, it’s king Mesha, Moabite theology of their national god Kemosh (Chemosh) and so much more. But it also has a sort-of parallel account in the book of 2 Kings that may leave you more confused than anything else. Let’s dig in.

#archaeology #bible #digitalarchaeology #biblicalarchaeology #moab #moabites #jordan #ancienthistory #mesha #meshastele #moabitestone

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If you’d like to read more here are just a few of the sources we used in this video:

J Andrew Dearman, Studies in the Mesha inscription and Moab. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989.

Edward Lipiński, On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age: Historical and Topographical Researches. Bondgenotenlaan: Peeters Publishers & Faculty of Oriental Studies, 2006.

Bruce Routledge, Moab in the Iron Age: Hegemony, Polity, Archaeology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

Neil Asher Silberman, Digging for God and Country. New York: Doubleday, 1982.

John R. Bartlett, “The ‘United’ Campaign Against Moab in 2 Kings 3:4-27,” in Midian, Edom, and Moab: The History and Archaeology of Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and North West Arabia, edited by John F.A. Sawyer and David J.A. Clines. JSOT Supplement Series 24. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1983: 135-146.

Bruce Routledge, “The Politics of Mesha: Segmented Identities and State Formation in Iron Age Moab,” JESHO 43 (3) 2000: 221-56.

Nadav Na’aman, “Three Notes on the Aramaic Inscription from Tel Dan,” in Ancient Israel’s History and Historiography: The First Temple Period Collected Essays Volume 3. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006.

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