Tomb Inscription at Givat Hamivtar

Tomb inscription at Giv’at Hamivtar written in Palaeo-Hebrew script (very unusual in the Second Temple period)-

“I Abba, son of the priest E/leazar, son of Aaron the high (priest), I, / Abba, the oppressed and the parsec/uted, who was born in Jerusalem, / and went into exile in Babylonia and brought (back [to Jerusalem]) Mattath/iah son of Juda(h), and I buried him in the c/ave, which I acquired by the writ.”

The remains of an old woman who was beheaded were buried in the ossuary. This negates the theory that the remains in the decorated ossuary are those of the last king of the Hasmonean dynasty, Mattathias Antigonus, who, in an attempt to restore the former independence of the Hasmoneans, had sought the help of the Partians. He was defeated and killed by the Romans in 37 BCE.

Yadin, Yigael, ed. Jerusalem Revealed; Archaeology in the Holy City 1968-1974, Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem, 1975, p. 73.

Geva, Hillel, Archaeological Sites in Israel, No. 2. Jerusalem- Israel Information Center, 1998.