Middle East News
Box of daughter of priest behind Jesus Christ's trial genuine
Jun 29, 2011, 13:47 GMT
Jerusdalem - Israeli researchers have determined that a 2,000-year-old ossuary obtained three years ago belongs to a daughter of the family of Caiaphas, the high priest involved in the arrest and trial of Jesus, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Wednesday.
The ossuary bears an Aramaic inscription 'Miriam Daughter of Yeshua Son of Caiaphas, Priests [of] Ma'aziah from Beth 'Imri.'
The Caiaphas family was a famous family of priests active in Jerusalem in the first century AD. One member, high priest Yehosef Bar Caiaphas, is mentioned in the New Testament as playing a leading role in the arrest and trial of Jesus Christ.
Ossuaries are small stone chests Jews used for secondary burial of bones and were quite common in tombs in Israel from the late first century BC until the beginning of the second century AD.
According to an IAA statement, the ossuary was discovered by antiquities robbers who plundered an ancient Jewish tomb. It was acquired by the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, and was given for examination to two scientists, from Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, and Tel Aviv University.
Since the ossuary 'was not found in a controlled archaeological excavation and because of its special scientific importance, it was subjected to microscopic examinations using an environmental scanning electron microscope/energy dispersive spectrometer (ESEM/EDS), the purpose of which was to evaluate its authenticity,' the IAA said.
'The examinations determined that the inscription is genuine and ancient,' the statement continued.
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