The Recovered Gezer Boundary Inscription

Eric Mitchell and Jason Zan have written an article for the Baptist Press about their success this season in discovering a new Gezer boundary inscription and recovering one lost for more than 100 years. The article includes a photo of the recovered inscription (#4), and promises a full report in a journal in due course.

This lost boundary inscription was discovered in 1881 by Charles Clermont-Ganneau and his description of the episode helps to explain why scholars failed to locate it in the last century. From Archaeological Researches in Palestine 2:232:

In 1881, seven years after this incident, I had occasion to return to Palestine, and resumed, on my own account, the exploration of the neighbourhood of Gezer, which had been so unduly broken off. I had been persuaded all along that some more inscriptions must be in existence, similar to those I had discovered, marking out the boundary of the town towards the north-west. I started searching in this quarter, with the help of the fellahin, as on the previous occasion; it was not long before my labours were crowned with success, for about two or three hundred yards to the northwest of the first inscription I discovered some large characters, absolutely similar to the former, and cut into the face of a rounded rocky platform with almost perpendicular sides.
I have no record of these characters, but a rough sketch hurriedly made in my note book. I meant to go back and take a squeeze of them, fix the exact position of the inscription, and pursue my investigations on the spot; but, unfortunately, I was suddenly recalled to France, and was unable to carry out this intention. I regret this, for I am convinced that there still remains quite a series of these texts to be collected round about Gezer, I am certain that a search of this kind would not be unfruitful, and recommend it to future Palestine explorers.

As of this month, 13 boundary inscriptions have been found near Gezer, but I have to ask, did no other cities have similar markers?

Clermont-Ganneau’s sketch of “Inscription D”

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About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.


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