Wednesday, July 16, 2008


OK, I need the help of all of you here. Carta has changed the name of the Ahituv volume and they are asking for help on where to price it. Here are the new details:

Echoes from the Past
Hebrew and Cognate Inscriptions from the Biblical Period
Carta Handbook
Carta, Jerusalem, Forthcoming, August 2008
528 pages + illustrations, English
ISBN: 9789652207081

It is about twice the size of Cogan's The Raging Torrent, which is priced at $64.00, minus the 10% for buying it from Eisenbrauns' website.

What do you think would be a fair price? It was originally priced at $150.00, then reduced to $124.00. Is that fair for a 538 page technical book?


Jim said...

i reckon it depends on how much is text, how much is chart, map, graph, etc, and how much is in color. if its loaded with bells and whistles, how about $120. If it's just text, it's not worth more than $80 surely. however, if you want to send me a review copy I can let you know more certainly.


[my it's horrible to sound like nick isn't it]

jps said...


I haven't seen it yet, but if it is like the Cogan volume in the same series, it has pictures of the actual inscriptions, plus extensive notes, transcriptions, and bibliography.

I owe you a few review copies, but not this one :)


Anonymous said...

In my experience, $100.00 is a major price point. $95.00 would garner more sales and income than would $105.00. $100 is usually the point at which a purchase leaves the impulse buy area and requires thought for me. The book sounds like it would compare with Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals which I bought for $65.00 in 1998 and which Eisenbrauns sells for $99.00 now. FWIW

Anonymous said...

How would this volume compare with the Hebrew Inscriptions resource recently produced at Princeton (by Seow, Dobbs-Allsop, Roberts; Yale University Press, I think)? That is an expensive resource but is worth every dime. If it is an important resource that will be consulted often, I would not mind paying a higher price (100-120).

Chuck Jones said...

To me it's astonishing that a shop like Carta doesn't have a formula for this.

Your suggested price is about twice the cost of photocopying it.

Yitzhak Sapir said...

I am supposing this is a translation of the Hebrew second edition of the corpus -- HaKetav VeHaMiktav. Based on this, the following includes a few notes about the Hebrew version. The foreword describes the differences in the volume including the following:
1) Additions of drawings in addition to the photographs. In the case of Deir Alla, there is only a drawing unlike the 1st edition where there was only a photo. "Sometimes the photographs are so unclear, that I preferred the facsimiles upon the photographs whereas other times the photographs are so clear that they need no facsimile." He notes he incorporated some changes of his own -- both additions and removals.
2) Additions of other inscriptions including weights, an abecadary, as well as newer inscriptions that have since been published. New readings such as of the Ketef Hinnom amulets or of the Mesha stela are incorporated.
3) He removed some of the really new inscriptions such as the Ivory Pomegranate. Instead there is a section on forgeries.
4) Seals and bullae are not included. He notes the wish to publish a separate volume on these.
5) The commentary is short and concise. It is definitely not as extensive as in Seow, Dobbs-Allsop, and Roberts. The same goes for the bibliographies on the inscriptions. On the other hand, Seow et al. in an excerpt do not suggest that trkb in Arad 1 contains a metathesis, whereas Ahituv compares it to Lev 6:14 mrbkt. But this is a very rare exception. For commentary or bibliography, Seow et al is more appropriate.
6) The Tel Dan inscription is not present, probably a result of Ahituv's attempt to represent non-Aramaic inscriptions only. This means that the Deir Alla inclusion implies a statement about its linguistic affiliation.

Perhaps a contents, or excerpt can be posted so potential readers can evaluate it.

Yitzhak Sapir said...

I meant a table of contents...

G.M. Grena said...

If Yitzhak's note is correct, that it doesn't contain seals, then I'd agree with Donald that $95 would be a decent price (assuming it doesn't include a CD-ROM; $115 if it does). If it had contained LMLK seals (& a CD), $195 would've been appropriate.

(FYI: I'm still deliberating over whether to buy NEAEHL v1-4 after recently receiving v5, which is excellent.)

Yitzhak Sapir said...

The book, if it compares with the Hebrew version, has plates almost every page of every inscription discussed, both a photo plate, and a drawing plate. This means on the one hand that it is not just text of the inscriptions, and that you can reasonably read and see how the letters are represented on each inscription provided. On the other, it means that certain topics must be left out. This includes lmlk seals, in the Hebrew 2nd ed., although measurement seals such as "bt lmlk" are discussed.