Israel Antiquities Authority

This 3-inch-long bronze amulet is inscribed with 13 lines of text written in Palestinian Aramaic and incorporating Greek charakteÆres, or magical symbols (highlighted in lines 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11).

Rolled up and set in a case that was probably worn around the neck on a string, the amulet was meant to protect its wearer against fever; it thus invokes the power of WHYH (Wah Yah), which may represent the name of the Jewish god Yahweh. Although the magical symbols cannot be interpreted with any certainty, they too appear to call upon a greater power to ward off disease. Unlike many contemporaneous amulets, this bronze scroll does not list the owner’s name—possibly suggesting that such scrolls were mass produced and sold in bulk.