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orion Ostracon

If there is no "yachad" reading in line 8, the task is on to discover 
what the text really is.  Stephen Goranson made an extremely significant 
point which did not quite register at first but which makes me think now 
the land sale idea is wrong.  Stephen noted the text starts "in the second 
year" without a month or day (odd for a date formula), and Stephen 
suggested this corresponded to the second year of membership in the 
yachad of 1QS 6.17f.  After thinking about it I think Stephen is right. 
(Formerly I thought the rough draft idea accounted for the abbreviated 
formula, lack of price details, etc., but not now.)  My part of the article 
of Cryer and mine is obsolete.  This text is no land sale.  This text 
sounds like the language, as Stephen has been saying, someone giving 
property over at the start of the second year, as in 1QS.  

There are too many points of language contacts with 1QS 6.17f, 
plus the striking coincidence that 1QS 6.17f has the property turned 
over at the start of the second year, 6.18, "when he has completed 
one full year within the community" (his property is turned 
over).  "In the second year" without month or day is too coincidental 
given the rest of the language.  There is giving of property.  In line 2 
try reading instead of NTN XNY..., "Honi gave", rather NTN H(W)NW, 
"he gave his property" (defective spelling of HWN).  1QS 6.19 (in the 
second year) "both his property (HWNW) and his possessions shall 
(be given) to . . . the Examiner..."  Ostracon line 4 read the fifth letter 
correctly as Qof, not Cross/Eshel's wrong reading of dalet, and get 
(Cryer's) word HMQWM, "the place, estate".  1QS 6.17f is filled with 
language of TMYMH (6.17 "in completion of a full year"), and there 
is TMYMH in the ostracon, first word of line 5 (read the third mark 
of line 5 as a defacing, not as part of a letter).  

Compare the language of this ostracon with 1QS 6.20.  "And he (2nd 
year joiner) shall register it into the account with his own hand", 
i.e. evidently he writes out his own deed of conveyance.  At the 
bottom of this ostracon, line 12, read "WBYD Y    H-", "and by my 
hand, H-"  His name starts with H and is off the edge so we can't see 
the rest of the signature.  Then three (illegible) names of witnesses 
as the only writing in the three lines below this, with no further text.  
All lines of this text are here, no sale price, its "in the second year", 
and its all 1QS 6.17f language.  Goranson is right in spades, except 
for the line 8 reading, but we all make mistakes, and I'm correcting mine 
right now.

The reading in line 8 stays as argued in my previous post unchanged, 
i.e. no "yachad" reading on letter-reading grounds.  The preceding verb 
WCMLWTW, "to fulfill" (more resonance with 1QS 6.17f language), 
read instead with a yod ending instead of a waw and get something like 
this: "and when I finish being possessed of (X) (I promise to turn it 
over . . .)" with some sort of promise in the lacuna and the illegible next line.  

Keep Cross/Eshel's lines 6 and 7, with territory and fig trees, olive 
trees, etc. essentially intact (I dispute orthographic details, but 
not the sense).  The text, even though the ends of lines are missing, 
is essentially intact, with the start and end both visible.  There is no 
"yachad" reading in the visible letters in line 8.  But it seems to me 
now the relationship of this ostracon to 1QS 6.17f is unmistakeable, 
and it is Stephen Goranson who spotted the actual point of contact
which signals this.  Obviously there will be further discussion, and all 
here is exploratory and provisional.  But this is what it looks like from 

Greg Doudna