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Tayma stones

Not to be confused with the Timna stones with Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions.

Tayma stone

The Tayma stones, also Teima or Tema stones, were a number of Aramaic inscriptions found in Tayma, now northern Saudi Arabia. The first four inscriptions were found in 1878 and published in 1884, and subsequently included in the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum II as numbers 113-116. In 1972, ten further inscriptions were published, and in 1987 seven further inscriptions were published.[1][2][3] Many of the inscriptions date to approximately the 5th and 6th centuries BCE.

The largest of the inscriptions is known as the "Tayma stone". The second largest is known as the Salm stele. The steles are known as KAI 228-230 and CIS II 113-115.[4]

Discovery

Notebook of Julius Euting with a sketch of two of the Tayma stones

The inscriptions were first discovered in modern times by Charles Montagu Doughty in 1876; he copied two of the texts, and his notes were later published in his 1888 Travels in Arabia Deserta. A handwritten note below the copies stated that: "Another stone with a like inscription is said to be among the fallen down in the ruin of the Hadaj". French explorer Charles Huber saw the steles in situ in 1878, and took copies of them which he published in the Bulletin de la Société de Géographie de Paris. Huber subsequently made a second trip to retrieve the steles, but he died before he could publish them. The first publication was made by Theodor Nöldeke on July 10, 1884, with information provided by Julius Euting.[5] German traveler Julius Euting mentioned that he had found seen the stone on Sunday February 17, 1884 AD during his visit to Tayma, accompanied by Charles Huber.[6]


The Tayma Stone

Description

Carved of limestone weighing 150 kg, length 110 cm, width 43 cm, and thickness 12 cm, and it has an inscription in the Aramaic language of twenty-three lines.

It was originally to be sent to Germany, but ultimately was sent to France, where it is now displayed in the Louvre Museum.

The head of the person standing in the upper part of the obelisk resembles the helmets that used to appear on the heads of the warriors of Assyrians and Babylonians.

Text

The inscription tells how the priest Salm-shezeb, son of Pet-Osiri, introduced a new god, Salm of Hagam, into Tema; how his temple was endowed, and how Salm-shezeb founded a hereditary priesthood there. On the side, figures of Salm and Salm-shezeb

Side A
1 … in the year 22 …
2
3 […'Aš]erah, the gods of Tayma', at Ṣalm of
4 …]his name, on this day [at Tay]ma'
5-8 […]
9 that [raised]ve Ṣalmšezib son of Peṭosriris
10 in the temple of Ṣal[m of Hagam. For the gods
11 sz Tayma' consecrated Ṣalmšezib son of Peṭosriris
12 and his descendant in the temple of Ṣalm of Hagam. And the man
13 who will destroy this monument, may the gods of Tayma'
14 eliminate him and his descendants and his name from the face of
15 Tayma' and here is the endowment that
16 Ṣalm of Maḥarm and Šangal and Ašerah have made
17 the gods of Tayma' for Ṣalm of Hagam namely
18 from the field 16 palms and from the treasury
19 of the king 5 palms, total palms
20 21, year after year, and may the gods and men
21 not expel Ṣalmšezib son of Peṭosriris
22 of this temple neither his descent nor his name,
23 (who are) the priests of this temple [forever].
Side B
1 Ṣalmšezib
2 the priest

(Translation revised by JM Roche after F. Briquel Chatonnet 1997)[7]

Historical significance

The steles have historical significance, as they represent an important part of the history of Tayma and of the history of the Arabian Peninsula. The Saudi Antiquities Authority have stated their desire to repatriate the stones, as they are at the forefront of the national archaeological treasures found abroad.

Gallery

See also

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ Rainer Degen, "Die aramäischen Inschriften aus Ṭaimāˀ und Umgebung." NESE 2 (1974a): 79–98
  2. ^ Beyer, K. and Livingstone, A., "Die neuesten aramäischen Inschriften aus Taima." ZDMG 137 (1987): 285–96.
  3. ^ Folmer, Margaretha Louise; Folmer, M. L. (1995). The Aramaic Language in the Achaemenid Period: A Study in Linguistic Variation. Peeters Publishers. pp. 796–. ISBN 978-90-6831-740-4.
  4. ^ "Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum II 1 : Académie des Inscriptions et belles lettres : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. 2023-03-25. Retrieved 2024-02-20.|Note: CIS ii-1, starting at page 107
  5. ^ Renan, E., "Les inscriptions araméennes de Teimâ." RA 1 (1884-85): 41–45: L'existence de ces inscriptions fut connue pour la première fois par M. Doughty en 1876. Ce courageux voyageur copia fort bien les deux textes qui commencent l'un par ......, l'autre par ..... Il ne put voir la grande stèle qui provoque en ce moment à un si haut degré l'attention du monde savant. An feuillet 27 de ses carnets, publié par I'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, se lit cette note: «Another stone with a like inscription is said to be among the fallen down in the ruin of the Hadaj>>. M. Huber fut plus heureux dans son premier voyage de 1878, Il vit la grande stèle, en prit un specimen, qui a été publié dans le Bulletin de la Société de Géographie de Paris. Il se proposait dés lors de faire un second voyage pour relever la riche épigraphie quil avait découverte, et pour laquelle il n'était pas suffisamment outillé lors de son premier voyage. M. Huber partit pour son second voyage avec une mission de I'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres et du ministére de l'Instruction publique. Il n'est pas opportun de discuter pour le moment les questions de personnes qui pourront un jour étre soulevées. M. Huber est mort; nous ne pouvons recevoir ses explications. Nous avons toute sa correspondance, que nous publierons un jour, sans y ajouter aucune réflexion. En fait, les inscriptions de Teima furent communiquées à l’Académie de Berlin le 10 Juillet 1884 par M. Noeldeke d'aprés les données fournies par M. Euting. Le 21 Juillet, nous recevions à Paris les estampages de M. Huber. La mort tragique de ce hardi voyaguer, qui suivit de près, ne nous a permis d'éclaircir une foule de questions de détail sur lesquelles nous aurions aimé à être renseignés.
  6. ^ Charles Huber (1884), Inscriptions recueillies dans l'Arabie centrale, 1878-1882, p.291: "Les trois fragments d'inscriptions marqués (85), (86), (87), ont été copiés à Teïmah' sur des pierres qu'on a fait entrer comme moellons dans les constructions du village actuel; elles proviennent évidemment des ruines d'un Teïmah primitif, situées au sud de la localité actuelle, et qui sont appelées Touma."
  7. ^ "Stèle". 379.

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