The Incirli Stele of (800-600 BC) Tiglath Pileser III was uncovered by Elizabeth Carter of the UCLA in 1993 during excavations in the Karamanmarash Valley (Turkey) at a site called Incirli. It was discovered in a farmer’s garden and identified to belong to Tiglath Pileser III and date to the Assyrian Empire (745-727 BC). For a detailed treatment of the discovery see the student website who worked at the site and provided some of the most up-to-date material. 1.
The Incirli stela confirms the existence of Tiglath Pileser (Pul) in an extra-biblical account. The bible states that Menahem of Israel (reign ca. 745-738 BC) taken captive by the Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser (Pul ca. 734 BC; 1 Chron 5:26; 2 Chron 26; 2 Kgs 15:19-29). The Bible states:
In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria. 30 Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him down and put him to death and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah (2 Kings 15:29-30 ESV).Tiglath-Pileser had this to say about Menahem:
As for Menahem, I overwhelmed him like a snowstorm and he ... fled like a bird, alone, and bowed at my feet. 2.Footnotes
- 1. Eric Cherniss, Tim Crockett, Neva Ayn Rovner, Kelli Vail. “The Biblical Connection: Incirli and the Bible.” Unveiling the Past: The Incirli Trilingual Inscription.
- 2. James Bennett Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement, 3rd ed. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969), 283-84.
For Further Study
- Kaufman, Steven A. “The Phoenician Inscription of the Incirli Trilingual: A Tentative Reconstruction and Translation.” MAARAV: A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 14, no. 2 (2007): 7–26.
- Cherniss, Eric, Tim Crockett, Neva Ayn Rovner, Kelli Vail. “The Biblical Connection: Incirli and the Bible.” Unveiling the Past: The Incirli Trilingual Inscription. n.p. [cited 30 December 2014]. Online: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/arc/incirli/index.htm