West Semitic Research Project, Kenneth A. Zimmerman

The Claremont “Marzeah” Tablet, pictured here, is inscribed with a text written in the Ugaritic alphabet. Some of the most important tablets from Ugarit, including this one, are now housed in the United States at The Institute of Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont, California. This particular tablet is called the Marzeah Tablet because it includes the word marzeah, a type of club or dining society known throughout the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, that, according to many scholars is referred to in Amos 6:7 and Jeremiah 16:5.

The exceptionally clear resolution of the cuneiform wedges on the surface of the tablet in this picture is the result of an improved photographic technique developed by the West Semitic Research Project under the auspices of the School of Religion at the University of Southern California. With photographs like this, many scholarly disputes regarding the contents of these texts can be resolved. Directed by Bruce Zuckerman, the Project hopes to provide scholars with sharply detailed photographs of major West Semitic texts. The “Marzeah” Tablet was the first tablet photographed by the Project.