Skip to comments.Oldest Jewish archaeological evidence on the Iberian Peninsula
Posted on 05/27/2012 8:31:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
On a marble plate, measuring 40 by 60 centimetres, the name "Yehiel" can be read, followed by further letters which have not yet been deciphered... the new discovery might be a tomb slab... "The organic material of the antlers could be dated by radiocarbon analysis with certainty to about 390 AD," excavation leader Dr. Dennis Graen of the Jena University explains...
...Not only is the early date exceptional in this case, but also the place of the discovery: Never before have Jewish discoveries been made in a Roman villa, the Jena Archaelogist explains. In the Roman Empire at that time Jews usually wrote in Latin, as they feared oppressive measures. Hebrew, as on the re-discovered marble plate, only came back into use after the decline of the Roman supremacy, respectively in the following time of migration of peoples from the 6th or 7th century AD. "We were also most surprised that we found traces of Romans -- romanised Lusitanians in this case -- and Jews living together in a rural area of all things," Dennis Graen says. "We assumed that something like this would have been much more likely in a city."
Information about the Jewish population in the region in general was mostly passed down by scriptures. "During the ecclesiastical council in the Spanish town Elvira about 300 AD rules of conduct between Jews and Christians were issued. This indicates that at this time there must have been a relatively large number of Jews on the Iberian Peninsula already", Dennis Graen explains -- but archaeological evidence had been missing so far. "We knew that there was a Jewish community in the Middle Ages not far from our excavation site in the town of Silves. It existed until the expulsion of the Jews in the year 1497."
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
Plate with Hebrew Inscription: Archeologists of the Jena University found this marble plate with a Hebrew inscription at an excavation site in the south of Portugal. [Credit: Photo: Dennis Graen/FSU]
Roman Villa: The place of discovery is a Roman villa near Silves. [Credit: Photo: Dennis Graen/FSU]
Perhaps of interest.
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