New evidence about scribal activity

In regard to the question of scribal activity in ancient Israel, which is part of my discussion of the work of David M. Carr, here is a New York Times article published the other day.

It is about discoveries that show a high level of such activity at Arad where 100 or so notes on pottery shards have been found.  They date from the late first-temple period.

The article contains links to more detailed reports.

One of the longstanding arguments for why the main body of biblical literature was not written down in anything like its present form until after the destruction and exile of 586 B.C. is that before then there was not enough literacy or enough scribes to support such a huge undertaking.

But if the literacy rates in the Arad fortress were repeated across the kingdom of Judah, which had about 100,000 people, there would have been hundreds of literate people, the Tel Aviv research team suggests.

That could have provided the infrastructure for the composition of biblical works that constitute the basis of Judahite history and theology including early versions of the books of Deuteronomy to II Kings, according to the researchers.

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About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.
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