Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ancient inscribed weight found in Jerusalem

EPIGRAPHY: Excavation unveils scale weight belonging to high priest. An archaeological dig in the Old City of Jerusalem has unearthed a weight that is marked with the name of the high priest from the Second Temple (Eli Mandelbaum, Ynet News).
Nearly 2,000 years after the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfeld of Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found a scale weight from that period that apparently belonged to the family of the high priest—and which has his name carved on it.

The weight was found as part of the excavation carried out at the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the capital's Old City. The Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out the dig together with Hebrew University, and it is being funded by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Ltd.

This is the second time that such a weight has been uncovered. Excavations at the nearby Burnt House found a similar weight.

Gutfeld explained that he himself unearthed the weight, which has two lines of Aramaic text and a lyre between them. This was initially obscured by a burnt layer, which is presumably from the burning of Jerusalem. While the first line of text has not been fully deciphered, the family name of the high priest was discernible.

Cross-file under Aramaic Watch? It doesn't sound to me as though they are very sure which language the inscription is written in.