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Anat Mendal

Anat Mendel


Ph.D. dissertation topic: Epigraphical Lists in Israel and Its Neighbours during the First Temple Period

Advisors: Prof. Amihai Mazar (Hebrew University), Prof. Steve E. Fassberg (Hebrew University), Prof. André Lemaire (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris IV - La Sorbonne)

Abstract: Lists are highly common finds in Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic epigraphies. They are written on ostraca, on complete jars, and even on stone and papyrus, found in the realms of Judah and Israel, Philistia and the Transjordanian kingdoms. In scholarly literature they are often referred to as "administrative documents", without further questioning of their exact functions or attempts at their typological classification. However, the motivations to compose lists are various, and their functions may also be educational, literary-thematic and even magical.
A study of the Hebrew epigraphical lists compared to lists in neighboring kingdoms enables a better understanding of the administrative mechanisms that operated in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah before their destructions. The research is conducted adopting a comparative approach, examining the lists integrated into the biblical text. A third area of interest is the contribution of the known epigraphical lists to the knowledge of literacy and scribal activities in biblical societies.

Courses taught: Introduction to Northwest Semitic Epigraphy (2011)

Research interests:

  • Hebrew and Northwest Semitic epigraphy and linguistics
  • Early alphabetic literacy compared to literacy in other ancient scripts
  • The role of reading and writing in ancient administrative systems
  • Scribes and schools in ancient Near Eastern societies; scribal traditions and activities

Current projects:

  • Publication of ostraca and jar-inscriptions from Samaria-Sebaste in the Institute's Collections using a three-dimensional scanning technique

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