Ancient Hebrew Financial Record Discovered on City of David’s Pilgrimage Road
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JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has discovered an ancient receipt or financial transaction dating back 2,000 years on the City of David’s Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem.
The find is from the Second Temple period, the time of Jesus, when Romans controlled the region.
The name “Shimon” is inscribed in Hebrew on the small fragment of chalkstone on which the financial record was carved, followed by lines of letters and numbers, indicating that money was involved.
Researchers found the stone tablet in an excavation site in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.
The Pilgrimage Road ran from the city gate and the Pool of Siloam, located south of the City of David, to the gates of the Temple Mount and the Second Temple, and was the most important road in Jerusalem.
A statement from IAA notes, “the stone slab was initially used as an ossuary (burial chest), commonly used in Jerusalem and Judea during the Early Roman Period.”
Researchers shed light on the discovery’s importance: “The everyday life of the inhabitants of Jerusalem who resided here 2,000 years ago is expressed in this simple object. At first glance, the names and numbers may not seem exciting, but to think that, just like today, receipts were also used in the past for commercial purposes, and that such a receipt has reached us, is a rare and gratifying find that allows a glimpse into everyday life in the holy city of Jerusalem.”
IAA Director Eli Escusido hailed the discovery, commenting that “that "the Pilgrimage Road, which is continually being uncovered in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem, is a flagship project of the Israel Antiquities Authority.”
He continued, “It is not a coincidence that the many discoveries which are being revealed in the excavation shed light on the centrality of this road even during the Second Temple period. With every discovery, our understanding of the area deepens, revealing this street's pivotal role in the daily lives of Jerusalem's inhabitants 2,000 years ago."
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