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) is incised onto a pestle, wrapping around the object and only partially visible here; it reads in full, “We made the pestle for the chief of the sons of the spring, the firstborn with his house.”