Bible and archaeology news
A Hebrew University scholar has put forward a new interpretation of a tiny, inscribed clay object recovered from the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem, only a week after the discovery was first announced. “I was sitting with my son and looking at the photograph [of the object], and in a moment of intuition, I realized what it could be,” said Shlomo Naeh, professor of Talmudic studies and head of the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies. According to Naeh, the object was not used to mark Temple items as ritually pure, as originally proposed by archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, but rather was a token given to Jewish pilgrims who purchased their sacrificial offerings in the Temple court. The token’s Aramaic inscription, according to Naeh, should be read dakar a leyehoyariv, which references the offering of a ram (dakar) made on the first day of the week (a, for aleph) when the priestly order of Yehoyariv was on duty in the Temple.
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