STORIES IN STONE. Excavations have yielded a number of royal and elite objects from Balu‘a’s heyday in the Iron Age II (eighth–seventh centuries BCE) when it was a major town of the Moabite kingdom. In addition to a fragment of a volute capital, two inscriptions have been unearthed. One (shown here) preserves the fragmentary text tmlk on the broken lip of a basalt vessel, and may refer to a king (melek) or a member of the royal family.