The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

Book Specifications
col. 1-194 pp.

Bibliotheca Orientalis LXXVII, 1/2 (2020)

2020  |  BiOr Volume 77 1/2 ISSN: 0006-1913


Bóid, R. — Editing and Using the Samaritan Pentateuch

This review-article is concerned with an important new presentation of a well-known book, the Samaritan Pentateuch. This edition deserves special attention because the editors have added information useful for assessing the relationship of readings of this recension to other recensions of the Pentateuch, as well as new information useful for evaluating the text. It also deserves special attention because it is claimed to give a better text than any before, a claim that raises major questions of theory and method. Whether the claim of presenting a better text than any before is justified is examined critically and the criteria are defined. Information about the history of formation and transmission of the Samaritan Pentateuch is given, as well as its relationship to the other recensions of the Pentateuch. The question of the development of the main recensions of the Pentateuch is examined. The reader is guided through the theoretical and practical considerations in the use of existing editions of the Samaritan Pentateuch. The vocalisation system used in manuscripts of the Samaritan Pentateuch is made accessible. All considerations in making a fully satisfactory edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch in the near future are explained. Evidence against some wide-spread errors or misconceptions is given.

Crawford, H. — Crinoline Ladies and Lizard Men: ‘A Review of Treasures from the Oxus’ by Massimo Vidale

This book presents two groups of figurines thought to be from Central Asia and date to the late third/early second millennium BC. It also provides a very useful introduction to the archaeology of the region. The figurines are known respectively as Bactrian Princesses and Scarred or Lizard men. They are meticulously described with excellent photographs but they are all unprovenanced. The author does not include any discussion of the problems of publishing this type of material, or of the difficulty of weighing the importance of the objects themselves against the view of many professionals who feel that by publishing one is encouraging further looting and destruction. Looted material often also provides a useful way of laundering ‘hot’ money with profits apparently used to fund criminal activities such as gun and people smuggling.

Bausi, A., M. Harrower, and I.A. Dumitru — The Gǝ῾ǝz Inscriptions from Beta Samā‛ti (Beta Samati)

Two recently published inscriptions from the Ethiopian site of Beta Samā῾ti, not far from Yǝḥa in Northern Ethiopia, provide further evidence to our understanding of Aksumite epigraphy. Along with the early date of its archaeological context, the two short inscriptions have interesting parallels: the first one could share a lexeme of controversial interpretation (gǝbgab/gǝbgāb) with an inscription from the cathedral of Aksum; the second one, according to the proposed hypothesis, has a peculiar parallel with the enigmatic inscribed Gǝ῾ǝz letters that are embossed on the front metal cover of the ᾿Ǝndā ᾿Abbā Garimā Gospel III.

Book reviews and announcements

Faraonisch Egypte, Assyriologie, Hettitologie, Aramees, Semitistiek, Oude Testament, Archeologie, Arabica, Iranica, Midden-Oosten, Islam



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