An Inscription from the Temple – “Tki’ah!”
Date- 4 CE
Current Location- Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Language and Script- Hebrew, alphabetic
• Beginning in 1968, Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar conducted excavations at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, exposing the lower portions of the massive walls built by Herod. The huge stone shown here, about 8-by-3-by-3 feet, was found lying on the Roman period street that ran along the southern wall of the Temple Mount. It apparently fell from the parapet, some 130 feet above the street, when the walls were tumbled by Titus’s soldiers during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
• The stone bears an incomplete Hebrew inscription reading- “of the place of trumpeting…” This text is elucidated by a reference made by the Jewish Roman historian Josephus to a place atop the Temple “opposite the lower city,” meaning the southwest corner, “where it was the custom for one of the priests to stand each seventh day and announce with the trumpet the arrival [of the Sabbath] in the afternoon and [its] ending on the following evening, in order to give the people notice of the times for both leaving off and resuming work” (Jewish War 5.582).