from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An inscribed potsherd.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A piece of pottery or stone, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Greek antiquity, a potsherd or tile; a square plaque of terra-cotta on which an inscription is written.
Esther Eshel of Hebrew University in Jerusalem says the ostracon is a legal document recording the surrender of a new member's personal property to the Qumran commune.
Every one taking an ostracon, that is, a sherd, a piece of earthenware, wrote upon it the citizen's he would have banished, and carried it to a certain part of the market-place surrounded with wooden rails.
That's an easy conclusion to reach given the more certain readings of the ostracon.
I just saw on the Biblicalist list-serv that the Khirbet Qeiyafa ostracon chronicle has been updated with new information and pictures.
While Christianity Today does a good job of reporting on the Khirbet Qeiyafa ostracon, Fox news offers viewers no understanding of the nature of the find, the uncertainty about how the fragmentary text should be translated, or anything else that might be called accurate, nuanced reporting:
Doug Mangum gives an update on the Khirbet Qeiyafa ostracon inscription.
Second, the biblical reference to Azekah and Lachish as the last strongholds to withstand the Babylonian assault Jeremiah34:7, confirmed by an ostracon found at the site, provides clear evidence that Lachish was annihilated by the Babylonians in587/6 BCE.
One ostracon, broken into two pieces, mentions several commodities and is believed to be a list of food and supplies.
The next line reads, "In Jericho," most likely indicating where the ostracon was made.
Every one taking an ostracon, a sherd, that is, or piece of earthenware, wrote upon it the citizens name he would have banished, and carried it to a certain part of the market-place surrounded with wooden rails.
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