Saturday, July 11, 2009

EXTRAORDINARY FINDS AT THE MT ZION EXCAVATION are reported by James Tabor. Lots of interesting new architecture and artifacts. This in particular caught my epigrapher's eye:
1. A stone vessel with an ancient inscription of ten lines written in an archaic Jewish script. Such stone vessels were used in connection with maintaining ritual purity related to Temple worship, and they are found in abundance in areas where the priests lived. We have found a dozen or more on our site over the past three years. However, to have ten lines of text is unprecedented. One normally might find a single name inscribed, or a line or two, but this is the first text of this length ever found on such a vessel. We have shared high-resolution photos with various epigraphic experts in Jerusalem who are working together to try and decipher this text. It is written in a very informal cursive hand and is quite difficult to read.
Note also that they are dependent on donations to continue the work. Details on contributing are at the end of the post.