Yitzhak Magen

The (relic) hunter and his quarry. Author Yitzhak Magen (at left) oversees excavations in a cave just north of Jerusalem where white chalk was quarried in the late Second Temple period. Scattered about the cave were damaged stone vessels, knives and chisels—the remains of a stone workshop, conveniently located within the quarry. From these broken vessels, discarded by the artisans at various stages of production, Magen has been able to piece together the stone-carving techniques of ancient Israel.