The GEZER CALENDAR is a small inscribed limestone tablet discovered
in 1908 by Irish archaeologist
R. A. Stewart Macalister
R. A. Stewart Macalister in the ancient
Canaanite city of
Gezer , 20 miles west of
Jerusalem . It is commonly
dated to the 10th century BCE, although the excavation was
unstratified and its identification during the excavations was not
in a "secure archaeological context", presenting uncertainty around
Scholars are divided as to whether the language is Phoenician or
Hebrew and whether the script is Phoenician (or Proto-Canaanite ) or
* 1 Inscription
* 2 History
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 Further reading
* 6 External links
The calendar is inscribed on a limestone plaque and describes monthly
or bi-monthly periods and attributes to each a duty such as harvest,
planting, or tending specific crops.
The inscription is in Phoenician or paleo-Hebrew script, which in
equivalent square Hebrew letters is as follows: ירחואספ
ירחוז רע ירחולקש ירחעצדפשת ירחקצרשערמ
ירחקצרוכל ירחוזמר ירחקצ אבי (ה)
This corresponds to the following transliteration, with spaces added
for word divisions: yrḥw ’sp yrḥw z r‘ yrḥw lqš yrḥ
‘ṣd pšt yrḥ qṣr š‘rm yrḥ qṣrw kl yrḥw zmr yrḥ qṣ
The text has been translated as:
* Two months gathering (September, October)
* Two months planting (November, December)
* Two months late sowing (January, February)
* One month cutting flax (March)
* One month reaping barley (April)
* One month reaping and measuring grain (May)
* Two months pruning (June, July)
* One month summer fruit (August)
Scholars have speculated that the calendar could be a schoolboy's
memory exercise, the text of a popular folk song or a children's song.
Another possibility is something designed for the collection of taxes
The scribe of the calendar is probably "Abijah", which means "Yah (a
shortened form of the
Tetragrammaton ) is my father". This name
appears in the Bible for several individuals, including a king of
Judah (1 Kings 14:31).
The calendar was discovered in 1908 by
R.A.S. Macalister of the
Palestine Exploration Fund
Palestine Exploration Fund while excavating the ancient Canaanite city
Gezer , 20 miles west of Jerusalem.
Gezer calendar is currently displayed at the Museum of the
Ancient Orient, a Turkish archaeology museum , as is the Siloam
inscription and other archaeological artifacts unearthed before World
War I . A replica of the
Gezer calendar is on display at the Israel
Museum , Israel.
List of artifacts significant to the Bible
List of ancient Near Eastern scribes
List of languages by first written accounts
Archaeology of Israel
* ^ Tappy, Ron E.; McCarter, P. Kyle; Lundberg, Marilyn J.;
Zuckerman, Bruce (2006). "An abecedary of the mid-tenth century B.C.E.
from the Judaean Shephelah". Bulletin of the American Schools of
Oriental Research . 344: 41.
JSTOR 25066976 . ...compromised
archaeological contexts (e.g. the unstratified
* ^ Aaron Demsky (2007), Reading Northwest Semitic Inscriptions,
Near Eastern Archaeology 70/2. Quote: "The first thing to consider
when examining an ancient inscription is whether it was discovered in
context or not. It is obvious that a document purchased on the
antiquities market is suspect. If it was found in an archeological
site, one should note whether it was found in its primary context, as
with the inscription of King Achish from Ekron , or in secondary use,
as with the Tel Dan inscription. Of course texts that were found in an
archaeological site, but not in a secure archaeological context
present certain problems of exact dating, as with the
* ^ Smith, Mark S. (2002). The Early History of God: Yahweh and the
other deities in ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 20.
ISBN 978-0-8028-3972-5 .
* ^ The
Calendar Tablet from Gezer, Adam L Bean, Emmanual School of
Religion Archived March 2, 2011, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Is it “Tenable”?, Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology
Review Archived December 25, 2010, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Spelling in the Hebrew Bible: Dahood memorial lecture, By
Francis I. Andersen, A. Dean Forbes, p56
* ^ Pardee, Dennis. "A Brief Case for the Language of the 'Gezer
Calendar' as Phoenician". Linguistic Studies in Phoenician, ed. Robert
D. Holmstedt and Aaron Schade. Winona Lake: 43.
* ^ Chris A. Rollston (2010). Writing and Literacy in the World of
Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age. Society of
Biblical Lit. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-58983-107-0 .
* ^ Coogan, Michael D. (2009). A Brief Introduction to the Old
Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context. Oxford University Press.
p. 119. ISBN 978-0199830114 .
* ^ Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Artifacts
* Albright, W.F. "The
Gezer Calendar" in Bulletin of the American
Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR). 1943. Volume 92:16–26.
Original description of the find.
* Sivan, Daniel "The
Gezer calendar and Northwest Semitic
linguistics", Israel Exploration Journal 48,1-2 (1998) 101–105. An
up-to-date linguistic analysis of this text.
* Dever, William G. “Gezer”. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of
Archaeology in the Near East vol. 2, Editor in Chief Eric M. Meyers,
396–400. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
* Pardee, Dennis. “
Gezer Calendar”. In The Oxford Encyclopedia
of Archaeology in the Near East vol. 2, Editor in Chief Eric M.
Meyers, 396–400. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to CATEGORY:GEZER CALENDAR .
* Details of the calendar including