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Document Details :
Title: The Deir 'Alla Plaster Text
Author(s): SCHMITZ, Ph.C.
Journal: Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica
Volume: 25 Date: 1994
The text inked on plaster that was discovered in the course of excavations at Tell Deir 'Alla in 1967 has not ceased to perplex interpreters since the publication of the first critical edition. The fragmentary condition of the plaster surface on which the text is written has left the proper reconstruction of lines in doubt at many points. Even where the text can be reconstructed with reasonable certainty, its language is problematic. Scholars disagree whether the language should be classified as Canaanite or Aramaic, and the interpretation of individual words is affected by the taxonomic opinions of the interpreter. Such progress as has been made in reading and interpreting the document results from the painstaking labor of a small group of archaeologists and epigraphers who have proposed reconstructions of the text, and from the efforts of a larger circle of readers to make sense of it.