During Bliss and Macalister's excavations at Tell eṣ-Ṣafi/Gath in 1899, five stone fragments with unusual relief decorations were discovered (Fig. 1). These fragments were described and discussed both by the excavators as well as by later scholars, and have been referred to by many as being fragments of an Assyrian relief or stele. In conjunction with the renewed excavations at Tell eṣ-Ṣafi/Gath (www.dig-gath.org), three of these fragments were rediscovered in the Rockefeller Museum. After new and accurate drawings and photographs were made (Figs. 2–3), the objects were re-examined. The renewed examination demonstrated that although there may be Assyrian influence in the motifs on these objects, they cannot be defined as part of an Assyrian relief or an Assyrian stele and thus, cannot serve as evidence for Assyrian activity at the site during the late eighth century BCE. Certain similarities to Aramaean/Neo-Hittite motifs were noticed, possibly indicating other cultural influences as well.
|Translated title of the contribution||Fragments of Stone Reliefs from Bliss and Macalister's Excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath|
|State||Published - 2009|