The tomb and ossuary of Alexa son of Shalom

Yuval Baruch, Danit Levi, Ronny Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a family tomb discovered in Jerusalem, of the common type provided with kokhim (burial niches) and ossuaries, typical of the late Second Temple period. It contains an undecorated ossuary bearing an inscription, in Aramaic and Hebrew: 'Alexa son of Shalom daughter of Alexa / Cursed (be whoever) will take me from my place'. Several features of this inscription are outstanding: the script, which seems to be the product of a professional scribe; the fact that the incised letters are filled with some blue pigment; the pedigree of the deceased, relating to his mother and further back to his grandfather; the style of the curse, which might point to a scribe whose occupation was the copying of texts employing a high level of the Hebrew language, such as in literary and liturgical texts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Exploration Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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