2nd Temple era inkwell found in Gush Etzion

Archaeological find strengthens hypothesis of high literacy rates among population of 2nd Temple era Judea.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

the inkwell
the inkwell
צילום: דוברות מתפ"ש

During archaeological work at the Khirbet Brakhot archaeological excavation site in Gush Etzion, a rare archaeological find was discovered - an intact inkwell dating to the end of the Second Temple period.

The works were carried out under the leadership of the Archaeology Unit in the Civil Administration, in collaboration with Herzog College.

The inkwell, which was discovered inside a large building dating to the Second Temple period - is made of a flat-bottomed clay cylinder with a round handle and a narrow opening with an inward-sloping rim - through which the ink and pen were inserted. Inkwells from this period are considered a rare find, and similar finds have been found in only about a dozen sites across the country.

The discovery of the inkwell strengthens the hypothesis that literacy was relatively common among the Jewish population in Israel during the Second Temple period. The inkwell probably belonged to a scribe or merchant who lived there in the years leading up to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

An archaeology staff officer at the Civil Administration, Hanania Hizami, said: "The rare finds discovered at the archaeological excavation site join a wealth of finds discovered by the Archaeology Unit at the Civil Administration and constitute historical and national cultural assets. I am pleased with the fact that we continue to uncover various archaeological finds, which contribute greatly to the study of Jewish history in the area. I would like to thank Dr. Dvir Raviv, Haim Shkulnik and Dr. Yitzhak Maitlis who led the arcaheological excavations and contributed to the discovery of the finds."



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