Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Archaeology / Etymology corner

Fascinating article in Ha'aretz about a new dig which has uncovered an enormous trench around the Philistine city of Gat -- seemingly supporting the bible's account of the fall of the city. (Uh-oh. Archaeology supporting the bible? The Palestinians won't like that.)

Also from Ha'aretz:
Modern Hebrew words such as kova (hat) and argaz (crate) are apparently derived from the Philistine language.
A quick google search brings up this:
There are several words, that appear in the Bible in conection with the Philistines, which seem not to be Hebrew, and different scholars have suggested that they are of "Philistine" origin. One is Seren, the title of the Philistine rulers (usually translated "captain"), perhaps related to the Greek "Tyranos" (Tyrant). And Koba, used for Goliath's headgear, is spelled Qoba by Isaiah. This would show that the word is not Hebrew - might it be related to the Hindu-European "Cap" (head)? Also the Argaz (box) on which the Philistines loaded the ark as they sent it back to the Israelites.
It's amazing how far back the influences on a language like Hebrew go -- all the way to the Philistines.

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