marks have been separately inked in black on this jar from the eastern Negev site of Tel Arad. One taw
is the last character on the first line of the two line inscription. This inscription reads, “In the third (year)/the month Sah
,” and may record the storage date of the jar which, perhaps, held perfume.
The other taw on this jar extends over the curve of the neck near the right jar handle. Jars with a taw in the same place were found at the fortress of Masada, which was occupied by Jewish zealots during the Jewish revolt against Rome. Yigael Yadin, the excavator of Masada, proposes that the taw stands for the Hebrew word terumah which refers to a Jewish rite in which a portion of food is offered to God before being eaten. Yadin contends that this is evidence that the rebellious zealots at Masada were observant Jews.