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Assyria, Aramaeans And Aramaic

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Chapter Summary

Assyrian interactions with the Aramaeans were widespread and long-lasting and so probably reflect Assyria's policies more clearly than her relations with any other peoples or kingdoms. The number of Assyrian cuneiform tablets recovered outside Assyria is small, so cuneiform writing was evidently current only for Assyrian administrative purposes and occasionally for legal deeds. The amount of archaeological excavation, construction work and looting in the Holy Land and Jordan may partly explain the difference, but is hardly the sole reason for it. The Aramaic clay tablets disclose the impact of Assyrian legal terminology on Aramaic, an impact which endured, as the Elephantine papyri reveal. On the other hand, Aramaic texts share curses, notably in the stelae from Sefire and Bukan and the Tell Fekheriyeh Statue. Craftsmen making ivory carvings found in the Assyrian palaces at Nimrud (Kalhu) sometimes marked the elements of composite pieces to ensure their correct assemblage.

Keywords: Aramaeans; Aramaic texts; Assyrian palaces



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