Excavators at Ashkelon recently found an inscribed potsherd that throws light on the little-known language and script of the Philistines in the seventh century B.C.E. It was dug out of debris of the destruction level left by Babylonian forces after their attack on the city in 604 B.C.E. The inscription is on the weathered body sherd of an Iron Age II jar with red slip and burnishing. The text of the inscription penned on the sherd is only partially preserved—it is broken off on both sides and the ink is only faintly preserved in some words. What little we can read, however, is of no little interest:

1. ]m‘br . sû . tsû[
2. ]k½w . ysû n½ . l[
3. ]‘ [.] br [.] s\pn½[

1. ]from the (cereal) crop which you[
2. ] … they shall pay to[
3. ] … (cereal) crop of S|apan-[Divine Name?]

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