Melqart stele


The Melqart stele, also known as the Ben-Hadad or Bir-Hadad stele is an Aramaic stele which was created during the 9th century BCE and was discovered in 1939 in Roman ruins in Bureij Syria (7 km north of Aleppo). The Old Aramaic inscription is known as KAI 201; its five lines reads:

“The stele which Bar-Had-

-ad, son of […]

king of Aram, erected to his Lord Melqar

t, to whom he made a vow and who heard his voi-


According to William Foxwell Albright, the stele should be attributed to Ben-Hadad I, an Aramean king mentioned in the First Book of Kings. However, Kenneth Kitchen disagrees and states that there is no actual evidence that connects the Melqart stele to Ben-Hadad I. a recent re-analysis of the stele indicated that the Ben-Hadad referred to is actually the king of Arpad. (*)

  • Site: Burayj, 7km north of AleppoSyria

  • Date: 9th C B.C

  • Material:

  • Item Dimensions: 115 cm x 43 cm (W)

  • Archaeological Mission: Discovery in 1939

  • National Museum Of Aleppo (2011) – Museum Number: Aleppo

  • Index Code: Alp 0149

Excavation Site Location

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  • Maurice Dunand, Stèle araméenne dédiée à Melqart, Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth III (1939), p. 65–76
  • Dunand, Maurice (1942). “A propos de la stèle de Melqart du musée d’Alep”. Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth6: 41–45. OCLC 1136089902.
  • Albright, W. F. (1942). “A Votive Stele Erected by Ben-Hadad I of Damascus to the God Melcarth”. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (87): 23–29. doi:10.2307/1355460JSTOR 1355460S2CID 163203878.
  • Della Vida, G. Levi; Albright, W. F. (1943). “Some Notes on the Stele of Ben-Hadad”. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (90): 30–34. doi:10.2307/1354906JSTOR 1354906S2CID 163726442.
  • Jepsen, Alfred (1952). “Zur Melqart-Stele Barhadads”. Archiv für Orientforschung16: 315–317. JSTOR 41635800.
  • Cross, Frank Moore (1972). “The Stele Dedicated to Melcarth by Ben-Hadad of Damascus”. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (205): 36–42. doi:10.2307/1356214JSTOR 1356214S2CID 163497507.
  • Black, Matthew. “The Milqart Stele.” In Documents from Old Testament Times. Edited by D. W. Thomas, 239-41. London: Thomas Nelson, 1958. Reprinted, Ancient Texts and Translations. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005.
  • Dearman, J. Andrew; Miller, J. Maxwell (July 1983). “The Melqart Stele and the Ben Hadads of Damascus: Two Studies”. Palestine Exploration Quarterly115 (2): 95–101. doi:10.1179/peq.1983.115.2.95.
  • Reinhold, Gotthard (1 January 1986). “The Bir-Hadad Stele and the Biblical Kings of Aram”Andrews University Seminary Studies24 (2).
  • Based on Wikipediacontent that has been reviewed, edited, and republished.

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