Courtesy Nahman Avigad

Triangles and diamonds of different-colored stone and marble, polished with care and inlaid with precision around a square of veined white marble, once formed the top of a small decorative table. This tabletop fragment, found in a large, elegant Herodian home in Jerusalem’s Upper City, attests not only to the wealth of the Upper City residents but also to the high level of skill the Jewish stonecrafters of Jerusalem had attained by the first century B.C.