Courtesy Hanan Eshel

A disembodied sandal. Only a heel, a piece of sole and 18 bronze nails remain from an ancient pair of sandals. The renowned archaeologist Yigael Yadin discovered such sandals, a standard type worn by Roman soldiers, at Masada, where rebels from the First Jewish Revolt (66–73 A.D.) made their famous stand. But in the Judean Desert caves, where rebels hid during the Second Jewish Revolt (132–135 A.D.), he found only sandals without nails. Yadin therefore concluded that a story in the Talmud referring to nail-studded sandals during the Second Jewish Revolt was mistaken in its date and actually chronicled an incident from the earlier revolt. The author’s discovery of these sandal remains, however, contradicts Yadin’s conclusions and confirms the date given in the Talmud story.