Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shema on Golden Amulet

Ha'aretz reports that Austrian archeologists found a 3rd century C.E. silver pendant containing a golden scroll. Engraved on the scroll is the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) in Hebrew but transliterated in Greek letters: "suma Istrahl adwne elwh adawt n a" with alpha, the first letter in the Greek alphabet used as the numeral one substituting at the end for the Hebrew word echad "one." The pendent had been buried with a two-year old boy in a Roman graveyard at Halbturn. Its discovery provides evidence for Jewish migration to the area in this period or earlier.

No comments: