It isn't every day that we find things with writing, but when we do, we get quite excited. Back in 2009, a friend of mine (Erica, pictured here covered in dirt [she is going to kill me for posting this, lol]) found a very small, clay bulla, what most people call a "seal." The difference is that the seal is the object used to make the impression in the clay - the bulla.
As you can see in the picture, she is extremely happy (this was her last day in the field, as she was heading home soon!). Why do we get excited? Well, the writing on the bulla can tell us a whole lot.
Writing is how we corroborate what we find in the dirt. Whether the writing comes in the form of bullae, ostraca (pottery with writing), or whatever, we can match what we find with what we think we know. For example, we may think that a certain object belongs to a certain time period, but if we find something with writing that gives us a completely different story, ... well ... we might need to rearrange what we previously thought.
We have actually found entire libraries of information that has helped us to change and rework what we believed about the past. These libraries have helped us to understand certain cultural practices as well. There was found a small limestone plaque with a calendar on it that helped us figure out the planting, reaping seasons in ancient Israel/Canaan.
As some of you may know, I own a backup business (helping people backup their computer files for an extremely inexpensive cost; it is one of my ministries). As I was helping a friend setup her account the other day (yesteday? I can't remember), I was thinking about some of the ancient libraries, like the one at Alexandria. Wouldn't it had been really nice if they had their entire library backed up! But .. they did not. In all honesty, we have no idea what all was in that library because the entire library was destroyed by fire. Maybe the library would have contained works that would have completely changed the way we think about history? Maybe texts older than the ones we now know to exist would have been found there? It is really quite sad to lose so much information, but what can we do? Once data is gone... its gone.
I typically tell people to backup their family photos, home videos, etc. (and then help them get setup doing that), but we can't forget about all those important documents as well. ... Writings (documents) were extremely important to the ancients, but what about our own documents? Take this time to think about what all could be lost if your library (computer) caught fire!
If you need a service to backup your documents, I can hook you up ... just let me know. See the link below or chat with me.
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