Samarian Ostracon

“Barley Letter" (Samaria Ostraca C 1101), dated to the eighth century B.C.E. Hebrew script incised on pottery, excavated by the Joint Expedition to Samaria in 1932.

One of the most interesting texts among the Samaria Ostraca, this Hebrew inscription has often been called the "Barley Letter" because it appears to mention a quantity of barley (šʿrm) in the third line. Its meaning cannot be completely understood because the left side of the text is broken away, but it appears to refer to a person named Baruch (brk), to shepherds (rʿm), and to some type of transaction involving barley. Its script is an excellent example of the style of Hebrew writing of this period, and is notable for the long, dramatic flourishes on the final strokes of several letters.
“Barley Letter" (Samaria Ostraca C 1101), dated to the eighth century B.C.E. Hebrew script incised on pottery, excavated by the Joint Expedition to Samaria in 1932.

Dug up, often from an archaeological site.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

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