11 December 2009
A SOUTH ARABIAN BRONZE VOTIVE PLAQUE
CIRCA 1ST-EARLY 2ND CENTURY A.D.
Framed with a plain raised border on all four sides, with ten lines of Old South Arabian text in raised relief reading: "(1) Il-sharah of the clan Ma'sum has dedicated (to) his god and his lord Hawkum Nabat and the gods (2) who are from Shim'an, this bronze dedication (plaque), (just) as Hawkum had commanded by his oracle; - (3) because Il-sharah had set out on campaign via(?) the heights, and they did battle in (4) front of the town of Miryamtum; and they had set out this text ("writings") and record, and what pertained to th(is) son of (the clan) (5) Ma'sum. And Il-sharah brought back the men of Hawkum, and sought (an oracular) response on his return (?) and (6) Hawkum made promise to Il-sha(7)rah by oracle, according as he (=Il-sharah) would offer to them (=the gods) the text and record. (So) he (=Il=sharah) made (8) the dedication; he dedicated what was required from him, such that(?) he should replicate it from the copy of his(?), as a good (9) outcome. And (so) they (=Il-Sharah and co.) have offered to them (the gods) the text and record (=this plaque). Il-sharah has entrusted (into the care of) Haw(10)kum and his (other) gods his family, his property, and (this) his dedication (plaque), safe from mishap(?)," with three perforations for attachment, and a raised X on the reverse
14 in. (35.6 cm) high
with Elie Borowski, 1986.
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Molly Morse Limmer
This inscription indicates that Il-Sharah led an army into battle and defeated his foe. As a token of gratitude he dedicated this bronze plaque to the god Hawkum, one of the chief gods of Qataban.
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