Announcing the discovery of Biblical quotations 400 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls

Biblical Archaeology Review's 200th issue discusses the two silver amulets found at the Ketef Hinnom site in Jerusalem which predate the Dead Sea Scrolls by 400 years and their significance.

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? Announcing the discovery of Biblical quotations 400 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Two pure silver amulets, each inscribed with multiple lines of ancient Hebrew script, have been discovered at the ancient tomb complex of Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem. The discovery is chronicled in detail by the site?s principal archaeologist, Gabriel Barkay, in the 200th issue of Biblical Archaeology Review magazine.

When deciphered, the inscriptions on the two amulets reveal one of the earliest extra-biblical references to the Israelite God Yahweh and the oldest-known reference to a passage from the Bible: the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24?26, which beseeches the Lord to bless the children of Israel. The texts predate the Dead Sea Scrolls by nearly 400 years.

Barkay?s stunningly illustrated feature showcases the silver amulets along with a diverse collection of artifacts found at the site, including Iron Age jewelry and Ottoman rifles. During their seven seasons of excavations, Barkay and his team discovered an incredible array of artifacts that had been deposited in the tombs. Included among the finds were an inscribed seal, scores of intricately crafted silver and gold, jewelry pieces, precious glass wares and more than 250 complete pottery vessels.

Located on a hill with commanding vistas over the Hinnom Valley and the walls of the Old City, the necropolis of Ketef Hinnom is made up of a network of now-collapsed burial caves that were originally hewn from bedrock in the seventh century B.C.E. The caves were first used as burial plots for wealthy Jerusalem families but, over the next two and a half millennia, the caves and the surrounding area came to serve a variety of functions and peoples. Barkay also found evidence that the Tenth Roman Legion, stationed in Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., had used the site as a crematorium and burial field.

For more information, please visit or contact Dorothy Resig at 1.800.221.4644. ext. 242


Contact Details

Company Name: Biblical Archaeology Soc iety
Issued By: Dorothy Resig
Phone: 800-221-4644
Zip: 20016
Website: Visit the website

by Dorothy Resig (few years ago!)

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