The Identity of the Bir-Hadad of the Melqart Stela

Wayne T. Pitard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since its publication in 1939, the Melqart Stela has been identified with the royal dynasty of Aram-Damascus and has been used to reconstruct the succession of that state's rulers. However, a new reading of the donor's patronymic in the stela's inscription argues against identifying the donor, Bir-Hadad son of ʿAttar-hamek, with any known king of Damascus. It appears, rather, that Bir-Hadad was the ruler of an area called Aram in northern Syria, which has no relationship to Damascus. In addition, Phoenician aspects of the iconography on the stela suggest trade relations with the coastal city-states during the mid-ninth century B.C.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-21
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - Nov 1 1988


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