Khirbet el-Qom

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Khirbet el-Qom (or: al-Kum) is an archaeological site from the West Bank, in the territory of the biblical kingdom of Judah, between Lachish and Hebron, 14 km to the west of the latter. A cache of 1,700 ostraca in Aramaic was found there, dating from the Persian and Hellenistic periods, during which the area was classified as the Persian province of Idumea, with a mixed population of North Arabs, Edomites and Jews.[1] The site is called Maqqedah in the Idumean ostraca .[2] Based on this, some scholars identify Kh. el-Qom with biblical Makkedah (Joshua 10:10, 16, 17, 21, 28, 29; 12:16; 15:41).[3]

The site contains two tombs. The tombs were investigated by William Dever in 1967 following their discovery by tomb-robbers and following the earlier discoveries of Asherah-relating inscriptions at Kuntillet Ajrud. Both tombs contain inscriptions. The inscription from Tomb 2 is associated with a "magic hand" symbol, and reads:

"Uriyahu the honourable has written this
Blessed is/be Uriyahu by Yahweh
And [because?] from his oppressors by his asherah he has saved him
[written] by Oniyahu"
" his asherah
...and his asherah"[4][5]

The inscriptions date from the second half of the 8th century BCE, slightly after the Kuntillet Ajrud inscriptions. Unlike the Kuntillet Ajrud inscriptions, they do not include a place-name with the name of Yahweh (the Kuntillet Ajrud inscriptions talk of "Yahweh of Samaria" and "Yahweh of Teman"); this seems to indicate that they were written after the fall of Samaria, which left Yahweh as the god of one state only.[6]

See also[edit]