Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

Corpus der Stempelsiegel-Amulette Aus Palastina/Israel Von Dem Anfangen Bis Zur Perserzeit

Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

Corpus der Stempelsiegel-Amulette Aus Palastina/Israel Von Dem Anfangen Bis Zur Perserzeit

Article excerpt

Corpus der Stempelsiegel-Amulette aus Palastina/Israel von dem Anfangen bis zur Perserzeit, by Othmar Keel. OBO 10. Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995. Pp. 364. SFr 148,00.

This work by Othmar Keel is a monumental attempt at studying and cataloguing over 8000 seals and scarabs from Palestine that have been published in the last century. As the subtitle states, the chronological parameters for the study are from the late Neolithic period (ca. 5500-4500 BCE) to the Achaemenid period (559-331 BCE). Keel is well qualified to undertake this ambitious project as he has worked in the area of Palestinian miniature iconography for over a generation. Recently he has collaborated with others to publish a series of essays on stamp seals from Palestine (Studien zu den Stempelsiegeln aus PalAstina/Israel I-IV [OBO 67, 88,100, 135; Freiburg: UniversitAtsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985-1994]). Although much of the material in the present work is derived from these volumes, there is no other work to compare with it in either scope or size. The study of seals has recently become an important subdiscipline of ancient Near Eastern studies, and thus Keel's work will help illuminate the cultural and religious history of Palestine.

Of special note is Keel's study of the large corpus of over 3500 scarabs and scaraboids dating from the Middle Bronze Age (primarily of either Egyptian origin or inspiration). This is the first publication to collect them in such a fashion.

This volume is not simply a catalogue. Keel discusses the nature of Egyptian scarabs and also surveys the archaeology, history, and religion of Palestine, much of which is derived from the study of these small iconographic forms. …

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