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Tayinat Oath Platform in the Holy of Holies

14 October 2010

At http://heritage-key.com/blogs/owenjarus/oath-platform-2700-year0old-temple-tayinat/ we have an unusual take on the excavations being currently undertaken at Tayinat, an ancient city of the Amuq Plain, on the banks of the Orontes, and conquered by the Assyrians in 738BC. The Temple in question belongs to the Assyrian era and the oath tablet was discovered on a platform in the most sacred part – the Holy of Holies. The god Ashur was therefore being given priority over any local deity that existed prior to the conquest and the tablet actually represents the subservience of the local deity to the Assyrian god. It is a remarkable find. The tablet itself was written around 672BC and concerns the accession of Ashurbanipal. Although Jarus does not say so the implication is that the Temple was destroyed, or fell out of use somewhat later in the reign of Ashurbanipal, otherwise the tablet would have been replaced – or thrown into the rubbish. Once Assyrian power waned after 640BC there would have been no requirement for the people of Tayinat to remain loyal to the Assyrian crown. However, it may be that the power of the tablet remained until the actual death of Ashurbanipal – when the city was released from its oath of fealty. So, on that basis it is a possibility the Temple at Tayinat remained in use until near the end of Ashurbanipal. Hopefully, the excavations will eventually enlighten the situation.

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