Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

Several artifacts inscribed with South Arabian letters have been recovered from Iron Age sites in Israel. At the major trading center of Beersheba in southern Israel, one end of a small rectangular limestone block—possibly an unfinished stamp seal—was carved with three letters (khn, or “priest”) surrounded by an incised frame. Could these brief inscriptions have been left by the Sabaean merchants who were responsible for leading the trade caravans to the “towns of Judah”?