In the November/December, 2018 issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review there is a brief article on a unique weight that was found in the remains of a Byzantine Church that was destroyed in the devistating earthquake of A.d. 749. This artifact is now on display in the Hecht Museum in Haifa, Israel.
The 6-ounce weight found at Hippos–Sussita. Note the cross in the center. It had been masked by a tin and lead paste during Islamic rule of the area.
A large stain—thought at first to be dirt—covered its front. A recent analysis, however, shows that the stain was actually made of a metallic paste (of tin and lead) that had intentionally been placed over a silver cross.
An artistic representation of the brass weight. From the Hecht Museum.
Once the stain was removed, it was clear that the weight’s front had originally depicted a cross on Calvary (where Jesus was crucified) surrounded by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where he was buried). Two Greek letters—signifying its weight of 6 ounces—appear on its back.
. . . The cross on the Byzantine weight had intentionally been obscured to ensure that the weight could be used even under the new administration. Part of the silver cross had been scratched out—to maintain the same weight—and a stain poured over it.
“Strata: Concealed Cross.” Biblical Archaeology Review, vol. 44, no. 6 (November/December, 2018), p. 13.
My electronic version of the March/April 2017 issue of the Biblical Archaeological Review arrived on my iPad last week. As usual, it contains some very interesting articles. Since some of the readers of this blog also read BAR and share its contents with their students I thought you folk might be interested in some “free to download for personal use,” high-resolution images that you might find useful for your PowerPoint Presentations. Here goes . . . .
Menorah with Flames Flanked by a Lulav and Shofar — Above it a cross was inscribed — Click (actually two clicks) on Image to Enlarge and/or Download
Fairchild, Mark R. “Laodicea’s “Lukewarm” Legacy: Conflicts of Prosperity in an Ancient Christian City.” Biblical Archaeological Review 43, no. 2 (March/April, 2017): 30–39, 67–68.
Patrich, Joseph and Shlomit Weksler–Bdolah. “Old, New Banquet Hall by the Temple Mount.” Biblical Archaeological Review 43, no. 2 (March/April, 2017): 50–54.