The undersigned, Professor Giovanni Pettinato, a philologist of the Italian Archaeological Mission from the University of Rome, officially declares the following:

The documents laid open in Tell Mardikh (= Ebla) during the excavation campaigns of 1974 to 1967 [1976], that I have had the honour to decipher and study, always give us more evidence of the central role of Syria in the history of the third millenary, together for the entirely original historical implications and for the presence of a new semitic language, the most ancient one among those already known.

As for the pretended links with the biblical text, I believe that it is my duty to specify definitely that the news diffused by the press, as well as the interference of our colleagues beyond the ocean, have given evidence of a tendency and a danger of which it is not [now?] my duty to do my best but also to have the specialists be careful. Despite the fact that it is true that, above all, the onomastic texts of Ebla may give way to possible comparisons to similar biblical texts of periods subsequent to the historical dating of Ebla, we are not however authorized to make the inhabitants of Ebla “predecessors of Israel”. The fact that the north-western Semitic onomastics of Ebla shows characteristics likely to compare their names with those of all the northwestern Semitic civilizations is so simple that it is no astonishing matter. But it would be a methodical mistake to repeat the already committed explanatory distortions rather than to be willing to study again and above all the Old Testament in the light of Ebla.

I have already stated several times my point of view in my lectures and by means of my reports for international assemblies and of my articles as well.

In testimony whereof


Professor of the University of Rome