Inscribed Scale Weight from Second Temple Period Discovered in Jerusalem

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Scale weight belonging to priest in Second Temple period (Photo: Oren Gutfeld and Asaf Peretz, IAA)

An archeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found a scale weight that belonged to a high priest from the Second Temple period, 70 A.D., during an excavation in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The discovery was made during an excavation at the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. It is the second scale weight of its kind to have been discovered.

This scale weight was found a meter under the floor of the synagogue under a burned layer of ground likely from the destruction of the Second Temple that was burned down. Two lines in Aramaic give details, which are still being studied, with initial findings confirming the name of a high priest from that era.

The excavation at the site has been ongoing since 2014. The Tiferet Synagogue was built in the 19th century and several artifacts from the Byzantine, Mumluk, Ottoman and both the First and Second Temples periods have been discovered at the site.

Israel Antiquities Authority confirmed the find, the head of the excavation, Dr. Oren Gutfield describing the discovery as having given him “trembles”. He also reported that that traditional ritual baths and an ancient heating system were found at the site.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, September 15, 2016, and reposted with permission.