The Hebrew letters nw[mv are pronounced Shimon, are transliterated Shimeon and are translated in English as Simeon.


Another hidden complex, at Herodium in the Judean desert, is described in “Jewish Rebels Dig Strategic Tunnel System” by Ehud Netzer, in this issue.


Actually, each face is slightly different. Face A measures 9.2 × 7.6 cm. Face B measures 9.6 × 8.2 cm.


Ossuaries are bone boxes to which the disarticulated bones of the deceased were transferred about a year after death.


On the drawing of face A no nun appears.However, in recent days we found signs of this nun on the tablet and therefore have included it here.


The Mishnah is the code of Jewish law compiled in about 200 A.D. by Rabbi Judah the Prince.


According to Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews 14:106), a mina is two and a half Roman libras. A Roman libra is 327.45 grams, so a Mina, according to this calculation, would be 818.6 grams, which is only two percent more than the 804 grams of our lead weight. The small difference could easily be accounted for by chips off of our lead weight.


Yaakov Meshorer, “A Stone Weight From the Reign of Herod,” Israel Exploration Journal, 20 (1970), pp. 97–98. See also Frank Moore Cross, “An Inscribed Weight,” in Joseph A. Callaway, ed., The Excavations at Araq El-Emir (AASOR/47, 1983), pp. 27–30.