Thursday, August 05, 2010

The finder of the Jerusalem cuneiform fragment

THE FINDER OF THE JERUSALEM CUNEIFORM FRAGMENT is introduced by her mother in the Jewish Tribune:
The young woman who literally found the fragment with her own two hands is our daughter, Ephrat, who was born in Toronto in 1982, while we were on educational shlichut there. She had the privilege of working with Mazar on this, as on a previous occasion, as head of the sifting crew. Ephrat’s responsibilities included keeping track of what was found and where, and training new sifters.

On the morning of March 11, when the discovery was made, Ephrat’s regular work was slow, so she decided “to grab a bucket and sift.” In the first bucketful she noticed something that was “different than anything I had ever seen before. It had some kind of writing carved into it.” Mazar was summoned from Hebrew University and, the moment she saw the little piece of clay, declared it a significant find.

On July 12, four months later, the find was made public, after it had been examined and assessed by all the relevant experts.


Ephrat is not a student of archeology. Her BA studies were in the behavioural sciences at Ariel College. But she has hiked with my husband all over Israel and grew up in our home in Efrat, halfway between Bethlehem and Hebron, among the hills that Abraham walked.

“I was always interested in archeology,” she said, “and I just wanted the chance to dig.”
Background here and here.