Prof. Benjamin Sass

ארכיאולוגיה אמריטוס
Phone: 03-6409703
Fax: 03-6407237
Office: Gilman-humanities

CV

Professor of Archaeology

sass@post.tau.ac.il

Education

BA - Hebrew University, 1972
MA - Hebrew University, 1982
Ph.D. - Tel Aviv University, 1985
Ph.D. Dissertation: The Genesis of the Alphabet and its Development in the Second Millennium B.C.

Nomination Abroad

2003 - Collège de France, Laboratoire d'études sémitiques anciennes: associé etranger

Current Project

The West Semitic monumental script c. 900-500 B.C.

As is well known, the West Semitic alphabets did not have a veritable lapidary script during much of the first millennium B.C. (A notable exception is Aramaic in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.) In a majority of the inscriptions cut in stone and in other hard materials, Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Ammonite, etc., a script founded on the cursive was employed, habitually executed with care as expected, and mingled with archaizing letter shapes. This is why the term 'monumental script' rather than 'lapidary' is used.
The said inscriptions are primarily (though not exclusively) the product of the West Semitic states and their rulers, that flourished in the Levant since about 900 B.C. until eliminated by the Assyrian and Babylonian empires between the eighth and the sixth centuries.
The study of the West Semitic cursive scripts has been extensive. The research addressing the monumental inscriptions is obviously vast, yet there exists no recent comprehensive study of the monumental script, that takes the new discoveries and insights into consideration. The present work will study afresh the script of the West Semitic monumental inscriptions, its development and its chronology.

 

Research Students

Ph.D. Students

Nir Lalkin: "Late Bronze Age Scarabs from Canaan."

Michael Sebbane: "The Mace in Eretz Israel and the Ancient Near East in the Sixth to the First Millennia: Typology and Chronology, Technology, Military and Ceremonial Use, Interconnections."

Selected courses

Archaeology of Syria in the first millennium B.C.

From Philistia to Cilicia: West Semitic royal inscriptions and their archaeological context

Hebrew inscriptions of the First Temple period

From Shishak to Necho. Egypt and Palestine in the early first millennium B.C.

Pharaoh's jewellers

The jeweller's craft in Canaan

Publications

Selected Publications

Books

1988. Sass, B. The Genesis of the Alphabet and its Development in the Second Millennium B.C. (Ägypten und Altes Testament 13). Wiesbaden.

1991. Sass, B. Studia Alphabetica: On the Origin and Early History of the Northwest Semitic, South Semitic and Greek Alphabets (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 102), Fribourg and Göttingen.

1993. Sass, B. and Uehlinger, Ch. eds. Studies in the Iconography of Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 125), Fribourg and Göttingen.

1997. Avigad, N. and Sass, B. Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals. Jerusalem.

2005. Sass, B. The Alphabet at the Turn of the Millennium: The West Semitic Alphabet ca. 1150-850 BCE; The Antiquity of the Arabian, Greek and Phrygian Alphabets (Tel Aviv Occasional Publications 4). Tel Aviv.

In press. Sass, B. and Marzahn, J. Aramaic and Figural Stamp Impressions on Bricks of the Sixth Century B.C. from Babylon, Chiefly from the Reign of Nebuchadnezzar. With Special Reference to the Monumental Aramaic Script (Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft). Saarbrücken.

Articles

2001. Peilstöcker, M. and Sass, B. A Hebrew seal from Jaffa and the Hebrew script in the post-First Temple period. 'Atiqot 42: 199-210.

2002. Sass, B. Wenamun and his Levant - 1075 B.C. or 925 B.C.? Egypt and the Levant 12: 247-255.

2002. Sass, B. An Iron Age I jewelry hoard from Cave II/3 in Wadi el-Makkuk. 'Atiqot 41, part 2: 21-33.

2005. Sass, B. The genesis of the alphabet and its development in the second millennium B.C.-twenty years later. De Kemi à Birit Nari 2 (2004-2005): 137-156.

Chapters in Books

1993. Sass, B. The pre-exilic Hebrew seals: Iconism vs. Aniconism. In B. Sass and Ch. Uehlinger eds., Studies in the Iconography of Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 125). Fribourg and Göttingen: 194-256.

2000. Sass, B. The small finds. In: I. Finkelstein, D. Ussishkin, and B. Halpern eds. Megiddo III: The 1992-1996 Seasons (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 18). Tel Aviv: 349-423.

2004. Sass, B. with excursuses by Y. Gottlieb and N. Blockman. Chapter 23. Pre Bronze and Bronze Age artefacts, Section A: vessels, tools, personal objects, figurative art and varia. In D. Ussishkin. The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Lachish 1973-1994 (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 22). Tel Aviv: 1450-1524.

2004. Sass, B. with excursuses by Y. Gottlieb and G. Bachi. Chapter 28. Iron Age and post Iron Age artefacts, Section A: vessels, tools, personal objects, figurative art and varia. Ibid.: 1983-2057.

2006. Sass, B. and Sebbane, M. The fourth-millennium origin of the three-tanged 'epsilon' axe. In P. de Miroschedji and A. Maier eds. "I will Speak the Riddles of Ancient Times". Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday.. Winona Lake: 79-88.

2006. Sass, B. and Cinamon, G. The small finds. In I. Finkelstein, D. Ussishkin and B. Halpern eds. Megiddo IV: The 1998-2002 Seasons (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 24). Tel Aviv: 353-425.

2006. Reich, R. and Sass, B. Three Hebrew seals from the Iron Age tombs at Mamilla, Jerusalem. In Y. Amit et al. eds. Ancient Israel in its Near Eastern context. A tribute to Nadav Na'aman. Winnona Lake: 313-320.

In press. Sass, B. Wadi el-Hol and the alphabet. In C. Roche ed. Mélanges Pierre Bordreuil. Paris.

Encyclopedia Article

1997. Sass, B. Jewelry. In: Meyers, E.M., et al. eds., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. New York and Oxford 3: 238-246.

 
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