On seals of people mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, see Tsvi Schneider, “Six Biblical Signatures—Seals and Seal Impressions of Six Biblical Personages Recovered,” BAR 17:04.


B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Eta), used by this author, are the alternate designations corresponding to B.C. and A D. often used in scholarly literature.


In addition, on one ossuary and its lid the letter bet (b) was incised to guide the user in fitting the lid onto the box. The letter bet serves here as a mere mark. See above, where a mark was used for the same purpose on the ossuary with the Qafa’ inscription.


While bat (tb) is “daughter of” in Hebrew, berat (trb) is the Aramaic equivalent. Similarly ben (÷b) is “son of” in Hebrew, but bar (rb) is the Aramaic form. The organization B’nai B’rith means sons of the covenant in Hebrew; bar mitzvah means son of the commandment in Aramaic. When modern Jews created a similar ceremony for girls, they called it bat mitzvah (daughter of the commandment), rather than the equivalent Aramaic form berat mitzvah.


This inscription should not be interpreted as the Hebrew greeting, shalom. Names, not greetings, are found on ossuaries.



Mishnah Middot 1:4, 2:3; Mishnah Yoma 3:6.


Nahman Avigad, “Jewish Rock-Cut Tombs in Jerusalem and in the Judean Hill-Country,” Eretz-Israel (E.L. Sukenik volume) 8 (1967), pp. 124–125 (in Hebrew).


Avigad, Ancient Monuments in the Kidron Valley (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1954), p 61 (in Hebrew).


Pesahim 57:1.


Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.123–124. This ossuary was published by Dan Barag and David Flusser, “The Ossuary of Yehohanah granddaughter of the High Priest Theophilus,” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 36 (1986), pp. 39–44.


Josephus, Antiquities 20.17–96. On the tomb, see M. Kon, The Tombs of the Kings (Tel-Aviv: Dvir, 1947) (in Hebrew).


Yigael Yadin, Bar-Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Last Jewish Revolt Against Imperial Rome (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971), pp. 124–139. See also Amos Kloner, “Name of Israel’s Last President Discovered on Lead Weight,” BAR 14:04.


See Joseph Naveh, “Nameless People,” IEJ 40 (1990), p. 117.


T. Ilan, “Names of the Hasmoneans in the Second Temple Period,” Eretz-Israel (M. Avi-Yonah volume) 19 (1987), pp. 238–241 (in Hebrew, English summary on p. 79*); and Ilan, “Names of the Jews in Eretz-Israel in the Second Temple and the Mishnah Periods A Statistical Study,” MA thesis, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem (1984), p. 45.


Josephus, Antiquities 18.35.


Josephus, Antiquities 18.95.


Mishnah Parah 3:5.


Menahem Stern, “Herod’s Policies and Jewish Society at the End of the Second Temple Period,” Tarbiz 35 (1966), pp. 235–253 (in Hebrew).


D. R. Schwartz, Agrippa I: The Last King of Judaea (Jerusalem, 1987), pp. 129–130 (in Hebrew).


Tosefta, Yevamot 1:10.


Ma’aserot 52a.


R. Brodi, “Caiaphas and Cantheras,” in Schwartz, Agrippa I, The Last King of Judaea, Appendix 4, pp. 203–208, pp. 190–195 (1990) (English transl.); and B.Z. Rosenfeld, “The Settlement of Two Families of High Priests during the Second Temple Period,” in Historical-Geographical Studies in the Settlement of Eretz-Israel II, ed. Y. Katz, Y. Ben-Arich, Y. Kaniel (Jerusalem, 1991), pp. 206–218 (in Hebrew).


Josephus, Antiquities 19.342.


Another inscription worth mentioning here is ‘Daughter of Qatra,’ found at Masada (Yadin and Naveh, “The Aramaic and Hebrew Ostraca and Jar Inscriptions,” Masada I [Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1989], p. 22, n. 405).


Ilan, “Notes on the Distribution of Jewish Women’s Names in Palestine in the Second Temple Period,” Journal of Jewish Studies 40/2 (1989), pp. 191–192.


Mishnah Shabbat 12:3.