Accounting Processes in Palestine During the Tenth-Eighth Centuries B.C.E

Lynne Cornelius


This article aims at determining what, if any, accounting processes were employed during the first millennium B.C.E. in Palestine, focusing on the tenth to the eighth centuries B.C.E., and whether they conform to the components of the definition of accounting, which comprise: (a) to select relevant information; (b) to perform calculations; (c) to record the information; and (d) to give account. The evidence from Arad, Samaria and Tell Qasîle demonstrates that the adopted processes can be regarded as accounting processes since they conform to at least three of the four components of the definition of accounting.


Ancient accounting processes in Palestine;

Full Text:

 Subscribers Only


AAA (American Accounting Association). 1966. A statement of basic accounting theory. Evanston: American Accounting Association.

Aharoni, Y. 1966. The use of hieratic numerals in Hebrew ostraca and the shekel weights, BASOR 184:13–19.

Aharoni, Y. 1968a. The land of the Bible: a historical geography. London: Burns and Oates.

Aharoni, Y. 1968b. Arad: its inscriptions and temple, BA 31/1:1–32.

Aharoni, Y. 1970. Three Hebrew ostraca from Arad, BASOR 197:16–42.

Aharoni, Y. 1981. Arad inscriptions. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.

AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). 1953. Accounting terminology bulletin No. 1: review and résumé. New York: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Albright, W F. 1936. Ostracon C1101 of Samaria, PEQ 68/4:211–215.

Birnbaum, S. 1942. The dates of the Gezer tablet and of the Samaria Ostraca, PEQ 74/2:104–108.

Birnbaum, S. 1957. The sherds, in Crowfoot, Crowfoot and Kenyon 1957:9–33.

Clackson, J and Horrocks, G. 2007. The Blackwell history of the Latin language. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cornelius, L. 2015. The development of accounting in Palestine during the first millennium: 1000–332 BC. Unpublished MA dissertation, Unisa.

Cross, F M Jr. 1962. Epigraphical notes on Hebrew documents of the eighth-sixth centuries B.C.: II. The Murabba’ât Papyrus and the letter found near Yabneh-yam, BASOR 165:34–46.

Cross, F M Jr. 1975. Ammonite ostraca from Heshbon: Heshbon Ostraca IV–VIII, AUSS 13:1–20.

Cross, F M Jr, Lemke, W E and Miller, P D Jr (eds) 1976. Magnalia Dei, the mighty acts of God: essays on the Bible and archaeology in memory of G. Ernest Wright. New York: Doubleday.

Crowfoot, J W, Crowfoot, G M and Kenyon, K M (eds) 1957. The objects from Samaria. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.

Crowfoot, J W, Kenyon, K M and Sukenik, E L. 1942. The buildings at Samaria. London: Dawsons.

Currid, J D. 1999. Doing archaeology in the land of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

Dearman, J A. 1989. On record-keeping and the preservation of documents in ancient Israel, Libraries & culture 24/3:344–356.

Fantalkin, A and Yasur-Landau, A (eds) 2008. Bene Israel: studies in the archaeology of Israel and the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages in honour of Israel Finkelstein. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, 31. Leiden: Brill.

Franklin, N. 2004. Samaria: from the bedrock to the Omride palace, Levant 36:189–202.

Franklin, N. 2008. Trademarks of the Omride builders, in Fantalkin and Yasur-Landau 2008:45–54.

Galil, G. 1996. The chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah. Leiden: Brill.

Grabbe, L L (ed) 1997. Can a ‘history of Israel’ be written? Sheffield: Sheffield Academic.

Herzog, Z, Aharoni, M, Rainey, A F and Moshkovitz, S. 1984. The Israelite fortress at Arad, BASOR 254:1–34.

Holladay, J S Jr. 1976. Of sherds and strata: contributions towards an understanding of the archaeology of the Divided Monarchy, in Cross, Lemke and Miller 1976:253–293.

Kaufman, I T. 1982. The Samaria ostraca: an early witness to Hebrew writing, BA 45/4:229–239.

Lemche, N P. 1997. Clio is also among the muses! Keith W. Whitelam and the history of Palestine: a review and a commentary, in Grabbe 1997:123–155.

Maisler, B. 1948. The historical background of the Samaria ostraca, JPOS 21:117–133.

Maisler, B 1950-51. The Excavations at Tell Qasîle: preliminary report, IEJ 1/4:194–218.

Malamat, A (ed.) 1979. The age of the monarchies: political history. The World History of the Jewish people, Vol. 4–I. Jerusalem: Massada.

Myburgh, J E, Fouché, J P and Cloete, M. 2012. Accounting – an introduction. 11th ed. Durban: Lexis Nexis.

Na’aman, N. 1986. Historical and chronological notes on the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the eighth century B.C., VT 36/1:71–92.

Nam, R S. 2012. Portrayals of economic exchange in the Book of Kings. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill.

Niemann, HM. 2008. A new look at the Samaria Ostraca: the king-clan relationship, TA 35/2:249–266.

Palmer, L R. 1954. The Latin language. London: Faber and Faber.

Rabin C (ed.) 1961. Studies in the Bible (Scripta Hierosolymitana). Vol. VIII. Jerusalem: Magnes.

Rainey, A F. 1967. The Samaria Ostraca in the light of fresh evidence, PEQ 99/1:32–41.

Rainey, A F. 1979. The sitz im leben of the Samaria Ostraca, TA 6/1–2:91–94.

Rainey, A F. 1988. Toward a precise date for the Samaria Ostraca, BASOR 272:69–74.

Reader’s Digest Universal Dictionary. 1987. London: The Reader’s Digest Association.

Reisner, G A, Fisher, C S and Lyon, D G. 1924. Harvard excavations at Samaria, 1908–1910. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Richard, J. 2010. Meanings and roots of the word “Accounting”: a comparative study of sixty five languages. Paper presented at the Journées d’Histoire de la Comptabilité et du Management, Paris, 24–26 March. Available: Richard_Meanings_and_ roots_of_the_word_ accounting.pdf. [Accessed 2016/04/11]

Rollston, C A. 2010. Writing and literacy in the world of ancient Israel: epigraphic evidence from the Iron Age. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Shea, W H. 1977. The date and significance of the Samaria Ostraca, IEJ 27/1:16–27.

Shea, W H 1985. Israelite chronology and the Samaria Ostraca, ZDPV 101/1:9–20.

Stern, E. 2001. Archaeology of the land of the Bible. Vol. II. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Tappy, R E. 1992. The archaeology of Israelite Samaria, Vol. I: early Iron Age through the ninth century BCE. Atlanta: Scholars.

Thompson, T L. 1999. The mythic past: biblical archaeology and the myth of Israel. New York: Basic.

Wright, G E. 1959. Samaria, BA 22/3:67–78.

Yadin, Y. 1959. Recipients or owners: a note on the Samaria Ostraca, IEJ 9/3:184–187.

Yadin, Y. 1961. Ancient Judaean weights and the date of the Samaria Ostraca, in Rabin 1961:9–25.

Yadin, Y. 1962. A further note on the Samaria Ostraca, IEJ 12/1:64–66.

Yeivin, S. 1960. The date of the seal “Belonging to Shemaʿ (the) servant (of) Jeroboam”, JNES 19/3:205–212.

Yeivin, S. 1979. The divided kingdom: Rehoboam-Ahaz/Jeroboam-Pekah, in Malamat 1979:126–179.



  • There are currently no refbacks.