A New 'Qorban' Inscription on an Ossuary from Jerusalem

B. Zissu, A. Ganor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article presents and discusses a new 'Qorban' inscription, incised on a decorated ossuary. The ossuary was recently confiscated by Israel Antiquities Authority inspectors, together with three other plain, undecorated ossuaries, from antiquities looters who broke into a cave located on the eastern slopes of Mount Scopus (near the village of 'Issawieh). The cave was blocked by the looters following their illegal excavations and therefore was not examined. The ossuaries were found empty. This is the third ossuary ever found in the Second Temple period necropolis of Jerusalem that bears a 'Qorban' inscription. The names of two persons, Hananiah and Shalom, apparently husband and wife, were inscribed thrice on the ossuary and its lid. These were probably the owners of the ossuary, which perhaps contained their collected bones. The Hebrew inscription reads and should be translated as 'Any man who [intends to use] it [should regard] it as a sacrifice'. The inscription is apparently a warning formula intended against reuse of the ossuary. The owner forbids reuse by comparing it to a sacrifice intended for the Temple - which by no means may be used for another purpose. The article discusses the warning, compares it to the other known inscriptions, and views it in the light of the New Testament and Rabbinical literature.
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)5-12
JournalCathedra: For the History of Eretz Israel and Its Yishuv
StatePublished - 2007

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