What fun! A new 8th cent bce inscription from the fantastic site of Zincirli (for details, go here). Here is a high-resolution image (HT Chip Hardy). Click on the image again to enlarge it. Jim Getz provides a copy of Dennis Pardee’s transcription based on the latter’s SBL presentation.
Alas, Jim does not provide a translation. After all, he implies, he blogs for those who will be able to translate it on their own. But Jim: that is no way to keep your stats high. Caution is the true explanation for his non-translation. Ed Cook, Duane Smith, and everyone else also choose caution and deference to Pardee over a translation attempt of their own. However, if I were Pardee, I would welcome alternative translation attempts.
Below, I throw caution to the wind, provide the text in transliteration and in sense-unit by sense-unit format. I also translate the first five lines. Note that d and r are virtually indistinguishable in the script; I transliterate with one rather than the other based on lexical and semantic, not paleographical considerations. The transliteration is best viewed after the font Gentium Alt is installed on your computer; it can also be converted to other fonts like Charis SIL.
- mn bny.ʾš.wyhy.lh.
זי קנת לי
וחגגת סיר זנ
שור להדד קרפדל
ויבל לנגד צורנ
ויבל להדד כרמנ
זי בנצב זנ
I am Kuttamuwa,
servant of Panamuwa,
I who acquired for myself
the stele while I was living.
I placed it
in my permanent chamber
and feted this chamber:
a bull for Hadad of QRPDL;
for opposite the depictions,
produce for Shamash;
produce for Hadad of the vineyards,
produce for his vessel;
produce for my life-breath
that is in this stele.
The translation, of course, is no more than a first stab. I imagine that (the ashes of?) the named food-offerings would have been placed before the appropriate objects in the permanent funerary chamber in which the stele was displayed.
For comparison purposes, a reformat of Pardee’s partial translation of lines 1-5 as quoted and cited elsewhere (Univ of Chicago news release and Doug Magnum) follows. Regrettably, I was unable to attend Pardee’s SBL lecture. I am unaware of his motivations for translating some vocables as he does.
servant of [the king] Panamuwa,
am the one who oversaw the production of this stele for myself while still living.
I placed it
in an eternal chamber [?]
and established a feast at this chamber [?]:
a bull for [the god] Hadad . . .
a ram for [the god] Shamash . . .
and a ram for my soul that is in this stele.