Wearying of the Siloam Inscription after having copied its first line from left to right on the obverse of this stone amulet, the forger turned to a different source for the amulet’s reverse. Drawings of a Jewish shekel clearly demonstrate the inspiration for the writing on the amulet’s reverse. The forger copied from both the obverse and reverse of a shekel like this one minted in 67 A.D., the second year of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome.
Beginning at the lower right of the inscription on the coin’s obverse and reading counterclockwise, the letters on the coin correspond to the letters along the path of arrow 1 in the drawing. The orientation of some letters on the amulet differs from the coin. This Hebrew inscription reads “Shekel of Israel.”
Arrow 2 indicates on the amulet the position of the two letters above the chalice on the coin. They stand for “Year Two” of the First Jewish Revolt, 67 A.D. Following the path of arrow 3 shows the sequence of the letters on the reverse of the coin. The inscription on the reverse of the coin, reading counterclockwise from lower right, says “Holy Jerusalem” and encircles a stem with three pomegranates.
The chalice and pomegranate symbols on the amulet were also copied from a First Revolt shekel. The snake, cross and symbols on the edges of the amulet were apparently the forger’s “original” contributions.