Ancient calendar offers glimpse of biblical times


Archeologists unearth 4,000-year-old silt tablet listing eight-day schedule for a Larsa temple, near the birthplace of Abraham • Schedule corresponds with Hebrew month of Shevat • Tablet included to-do list, wage table for temple functionaries.

Yori Yalon
                                            The cuneiform tablet, written in Akkadian, is 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) tall and 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) wide

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Photo credit: Moshe Cain

                                            The cuneiform tablet, written in Akkadian, is 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) tall and 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) wide

|

Photo credit: Moshe Cain

Ever wonder how the people in biblical times arranged their schedules? The answer may lie with a 4,000-year-old silt tablet recently discovered in the ruins of Larsa — an ancient Sumer city located in modern-day southern Iraq.

Larsa’s neighboring city was Ur Kasdim, mentioned in the book of Genesis as the birthplace of Abraham.

The tablet, which is currently on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, lists a schedule that corresponds with a week in the Hebrew month of Shevat.

The cuneiform tablet, which is written in Akkadian, is 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) long and 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) wide. It lists an eight-day schedule for one of the temples in Larsa, including a to-do list for a festival set for the eighth day.

The tablet also notes the wages to be paid to temple functionaries involved in the celebrations. The vocalist asked to perform during the festival, for example, was paid with 14 loaves of bread and a jug of ale.

« This silt tablet, which dates back to the time of biblical Abraham, is the only Mesopotamian text we know of to describe temple rituals stretching eight days. It also illustrates the similarities between our calendar and its Babylonian origins, » Bible Lands Museum Director Amanda Weiss said.

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=14725

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Ancient calendar offers glimpse of biblical times

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