British School of Archaeology in Iraq

Dots separate the words in inscriptions written in paleo-Hebrew, the script used before the Babylonian Exile that began in 586 B.C. Such dots appear in the middle of line two and elsewhere on this fragmentary ivory plaque dated to the eighth century B.C. Discovered in the ruins of an Assyrian storehouse at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), in northern Iraq, this plaque was probably looted from Samaria. Together the fragments measure only about 3.5 inches wide and 2 inches high. The surviving words are part of a curse on anyone who would destroy the inscription, or perhaps the object to which the inscription was affixed.