The regular readers will by now have realized that I am currently focusing on Jordan in Antiquity; I will visit that country in November, in šāʾ Allāh. Before I will put online a page on the Nabataeans, I’ve first made available several inscriptions. The photo to the right shows a funeral inscription now in the Louvre; it is from the tomb of a grandfather and a grandson, and contains an interesting Greek loanword.
Three other inscriptions can be found here; one of them dates -amusingly- from the exactly the beginning of our era, the month of Tebeth of the ninth year of Aretas IV, i.e., the two last weeks of 1 BCE or the two first weeks of January 1 CE.
The Deir ‘Alla Inscription is about eight centuries older. It describes the revelations of the prophet Balaam, son of Beor, who is also known from the Biblical book of Numbers. In the first part, he describes how a group of evil deities wants to destroy the world, and how Balaam is able to avert this danger; a second part describes Sheol, the Underworld.