Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority/Exhibited & Photographed , Israel Museum

Keep out! The Greek inscription on this slab of hard limestone warns foreigners (non-Jews) not to enter the sacred inner precinct of the Temple Mount. According to the first-century C.E. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, similar warnings, “some in Greek, others in Latin,” were posted “at regular intervals” along the soreg, the stone balustrade that bounded the sacred precinct. The partial inscription on this fragment, in Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum, has been reconstructed based on a more complete version, now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, which reads: “No foreigner may enter within the railing and enclosure that surround the Temple. Anyone apprehended shall have himself to blame for his consequent death!”