Image: Assyrian Tablet from Tell Tayinat, Turkey
Credit: Image Courtesy of The Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Canadian archaeologist Timothy Harrison, from the University of Toronto, has found an Assyrian tablet at Tell Tayinat, a site located in Turkey. The tablet is a treaty, dated to about 670 B.C., between King Esarhaddon and some of the Assyrian vassals.
Below are a few excerpts from the article:
Canadian archeologists in Turkey have unearthed an ancient treaty written in cuneiform that could have served as a model for the biblical description of God's covenant with the Israelites.To read the article in its entirety, visit the web page of The Ottawa Citizen.
The tablet, dating from about 670 BC, is a treaty between the powerful Assyrian king and his weaker vassal states, written in a highly formulaic language very similar in form and style to the story of Abraham's covenant with God in the Hebrew Bible, says University of Toronto archeologist Timothy Harrison
"The language in the (Assyrian) texts is (very similar) and now we have a treaty document just a few miles up the road from Jerusalem."
King Esarhaddon was nearing the end of his reign in Assyria when he drafted this treaty, trying to ensure a peaceful succession to the throne, Harrison said. "It was remarkable the kind of the intrigue went on." One of the reasons they made these treaties is that Esarhaddon's father was assassinated by a brother.
"So he brought together all the rulers in the Assyrian empire and essentially bound them to these treaties (to) avoid political crisis. It's a very complex document to deal with, sophisticated and intricate ... anticipating all the possibilities that might arise."
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, King Esarhaddon, Tell Tayinat, Timothy Harrison, Vassal Treaty