Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ancient Hebrew inscriptions on limestone capital in the Galilee

EPIGRAPHY: Hebrew carvings on column lend weight to Galilee village’s Jewish past. IAA says discovery of 1,800-year-old limestone capital bearing inscriptions reinforces association of Druze village of Peki’in with Roman-era center of Jewish scholarship (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).
pair of 1,800-year-old Hebrew inscriptions carved into a capital found last week in the Druze village of Pekiin may lend support to a tradition linking the Galilean village to an ancient center of Jewish scholarship.

The inscriptions, etched into a limestone block buried beneath a courtyard of a building adjacent to the village’s 19th-century synagogue, were found during restoration work, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The antiquities authority was tight-lipped about the find and refused to disclose the text of the inscriptions, saying they were still being studied and wouldn’t be published until they appear in a scholarly journal.

The IAA also wouldn’t say how archaeologists who inspected the inscriptions determined they were 1,800 years old. The IAA did disclose that the inscriptions appeared to be dedications by donors to the synagogue, lending support to the tradition of a Jewish presence during the Roman period.