This is a tablet of white marble, measuring 18 x 10 inches, containing a Greek inscription in seven lines. The stone is broken, as the photograph shows, but without damage to any letter (pl. X, 3).

The inscription was first published by M. Noël Giron, in the Journal Asiatique, IIe série, Jan.-Mars, 1922, pp. 81-84, under the title "Inscription de Beisan," in a series of "Notes épigraphiques." Since some of M. Giron's readings and interpretations seem open to question, a new attempt will not be out of place.

M. Giron studied the stone and made his copy in Damascus, in 1914, and was told that the tablet had been brought thither from Beisan (Scythopolis). A few years later, the stone was brought to New York City by the well-known dealer in Syrian antiquities, Azeez Khayat. He sent me a squeeze of the inscription, and I deciphered it. This, I believe, was in 1918 or 1919, but I am not sure of the date. I noticed with much interest the French publication when it appeared in the Journal Asiatique, and promised myself to comment on it somewhere and at some time, but found no opportunity.

It was perhaps a decade later that I learned in conversation with the late Edward Newell, the numismatist, that the tablet was in his possession, as he had purchased it from, Khayat. I told him what I knew of its history, and what I believed to be desirable in the way of further publication. Shortly before his death he delivered it to me, to present as his gift to Yale University.

The inscription is very clearly written, in tall and slender characters. It can hardly be said that it was inscribed with great care, for there are numerous little oversights due to haste, as will be seen.



Created by the Digital Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.

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