Photograph by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research, with the collaboration of Andrew Vaughn, ASOR/Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

UNROLLING THE PAST. Excavations at Jerusalem’s Iron Age burial site of Ketef Hinnom produced two of the earliest known extra-Biblical references to Yahweh and the oldest known reference to a Biblical passage: the priestly blessing of Numbers 6:24–26. Rolled up into miniature scrolls and later painstakingly unrolled by scholars, these tiny silver inscriptions were likely amulets meant to ward off evil.