Archaeology & History
1,800-year-old curse unearthed at necropolis in Israel
By T.K. Randall
June 7, 2022 · 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
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