A Two-Millennium-Old Box from Jerusalem’s Pilgrims’ Market https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2024/02/a-two-millennium-old-box-from-jerusalems-pilgrims-market/

February 23, 2024 | Gavriel Fiske
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This week, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that an ancient limestone box has gone on display at the Israel museum, which archaeologists believe was used by a merchant for displaying items for sale to pilgrims coming to visit the Second Temple. Gavriel Friske writes:

The square box, 30 centimeters (1 foot) on a side and thought to be 2,000 years old, is divided into nine internal compartments and was discovered about two years ago “in a destruction layer inside an ancient store dated to the end of the Second Temple period that once stood alongside the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David,” according to a press release. The sides of the box are blackened, indicating that it was burnt “perhaps during events of the Great Jewish Revolt [66–72 CE], which ultimately led to the destruction of Jerusalem,” the notice said.

Excavations in the same area have revealed a myriad of objects linked to commercial activities and a busy city market, including glass and ceramic vessels, weights, coins, measuring tools, and manufacturing and cooking facilities, a “testament to the flourishing commercial activity that took place alongside the road during the Second Temple period,” the archaeologists said.

Thousands of fragments of ancient limestone vessels have been uncovered in Jerusalem. Jewish law indicates that stone vessels cannot become impure, unlike metal or clay, explaining their widespread use in the city.

Read more on Times of Israel: https://www.timesofisrael.com/rare-second-temple-era-merchants-box-displayed-at-israel-museum/