What names teach us about Iron II society in the Land of Israel

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR
800000 By: Mitka Golub Names send messages about identity. Today, many African-Americans have first names that are totally different from those of white Americans. But until the early 1970s there was a great similarity between the two communities. Scholars who studied this phenomenon, Roland Fryer and Stephen Levitt, attribute this change to the Black Power movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. When black parents give their children distinctively black names, they declare and affirm their cultural identity. Hebrew personal names from the Iron Age II bear witness to the important historical and ethnic changes of that period in much the same way: the interplay between polytheism and monotheism, the rise of Yahwism, and the evolution of ethnic identities. Hebrew personal names also shed light on the relationship between archaeology and the Bible. (Belonging) to Shema servant of Yarobam (copy). Jasper seal from Megiddo, Iron Age II, first half of the 8th century BCE The study of African-American names mentioned above is based on quantitative analysis of birth certificates for every child born in California between 1961 and 2000. While the ancient record is relatively poor by comparison, a growing corpus of names from Iron II artifacts is beginning to enable statistically meaningful quantitative analysis. That corpus now contains hundreds of names, mainly from administrative documents such as ostraca,

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