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Archaeology & History

1,800-year-old curse unearthed at necropolis in Israel

By T.K. Randall
June 7, 2022 · Comment icon 5 comments

Image Credit: Twitter / Yevgeny Ostrovsky / Israel Antiquities Authority
A grave marker inscribed with a curse in red lettering was found during conservation work at Beit She'arim park.
Dating back 1,800 years, the inscribed text was seemingly written by the grave's occupant - a 60-year-old Judaism convert named Jacob - warning others not to disturb the burial after his death.

The discovery, which was published this month by the University of Haifa and the Israel Antiquities Authority, was made at the Jewish Beit She'arim cemetery last year.

The inscription, along with another found on a wall nearby, were the first to be identified in the necropolis in 65 years.

"Jacob (Iokobos) the convert swears upon himself that any who open this grave will be cursed," it reads. Beneath the inscription is a thick red line under which someone else wrote "Aged 60".
At the time, it wasn't that unusual for someone to write their own grave marker prior to death.

"I'm sure he prepared his stone before he died," said Prof. Jonathan Price of Tel Aviv University who was responsible for deciphering the inscription.

"Whether he wrote with his hand or not, we can't know."

Source: Times of Israel | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
And, what would happen if someone disturbed his burial?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Portre 2 years ago
If you disturb the burial, you get published.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Robotic Jew 2 years ago
And of course the first thing they did was disturb the grave.   This is why we have ants.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Anthill Tiger 2 years ago
Who cares right, are we not cursed anyway? What makes him think anyone would want to disturb that grave??? Weird.
Comment icon #5 Posted by quiXilver 2 years ago
Hmm... What is the expiration date on a curse i wonder? When the paint scrapes off? When the language used in the curse is no longer known by anyone who could read it? When no more gullible/impressionable folks encounter it?  

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