Israel Antiquities Authority

Lost and found. No one realized the significance of these two ossuaries when they were first found inside a niche in a burial cave, accidentally unearthed in the Jerusalem Peace Forest by a construction crew. Archaeologists soon discerned the Aramaic family name “Qafa” awkwardly scratched on the ossuary on the right. Another form of the name was roughly inscribed on the ossuary on the left: “Yehosef bar Qayafa.” Both versions of the name refer to the same priestly family, preserved in both Jewish and Christian sources in its Greek form, “Caiaphas.”