Grace alumnus Ben Thomas (BA 02, MA 05), who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, was a square supervisor for an Oriental Institute dig in Zincirli, Turkey. They excavated a well-preserved eighth century B.C. funerary stele for an official named Kuttamuwa. Archaeology magazine selected it as one of the top 10 discoveries of 2008. For a picture of the stele and Ben reading it, see Ben reports that he was called on to read the inscription (it’s in an old western Aramaic dialect in the Phoenician script). His success in translating it received public recognition from Professor Dennis Pardee and the dig director, Professor David Schloen.

Ben has published an article in ZAW 120 (2008) and has two articles awaiting publication (in Hebrew Studies and BASOR). He’s also a contributor to a forthcoming encyclopedia and a volume entitled,
Popular Controversies in World History. In addition he’s been presenting papers at SBL and AOS meetings. Ben is ABD and is working on his dissertation proposal: “Prophetic Historiography in the Books of Kings.”
* Note: Thanks to Dr. Brent Sandy for this information.

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