© Royal Ontario Museum

The famous James ossuary, inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” bears its inscription on the opposite side from the rosettes, unlike the Child’s ossuary on which the inscription is engraved within its rosette. Like the inscription on the Child’s ossuary, the inscription on the James ossuary was made with an iron tool and is much deeper and clearer than the rosettes, which were scratched with a stylus. The inscription and the rosette on the Child’s ossuary cannot have weathered differently so the difference in depth between the inscription and the rosettes cannot be the result of differential weathering. The Child’s ossuary thus refutes the argument that the inscription on the James ossuary is modern because it is clearer than the faint, badly weathered rosettes on the other side.