Angelos Chaniotis

Unearthed in 1976, the inscribed pillar was originally dated to the early third century C.E., but closer inspection of the inscription reveals that it was first carved and erected several hundred years later, probably in the mid-to-late fourth century. The pillar includes not one inscription, but two. The stone’s slightly wider, front face (Face I) is engraved with a clean, neat inscription that follows horizontal guidelines and is written within drafted vertical margins. The inscription on the adjacent face (Face II) is far less precise, with varying letter heights, words that extend into the margins and an initial line awkwardly carved at a different angle from the rest of the text. These two distinct carving styles suggest that the inscription on Face I was carved first, when the stone was still lying flat on the ground and fully accessible to the engraver, while the text of Face II was carved at a later date, once the pillar had already been installed in the synagogue and the engraving had to be completed from atop a ladder.