1,000-Year-Old Amulet with Arabic Blessing Found in Jerusalem

1,000-Year-Old Amulet with Arabic Blessing Found in Jerusalem

Thursday, 21 June, 2018 - 07:00
The clay amulet discovered in Jerusalem
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed under a parking lot an extremely rare clay amulet, which dates back to the 9th or 10th century, Britain’s The Daily Mail has reported.

The newspaper said that the clay artifact was uncovered during the excavation of a parking lot at the City of David. It contains a prayer in Arabic which experts says could have been to protect its owner, believed to have been named Kareem.

'Kareem trusts in Allah,' and 'Lord of the Worlds is Allah,' it reads, according to a translation by  Dr. Nitzan Amitai-Preiss of the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University.

It was found sealed between plaster flooring during the excavation of a small room at the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park, said The Daily Mail.

However, experts are unsure whether it was deliberately buried under the floor or simply lost by a man named Kareem, it added.

“Because this amulet does not have a hole to thread it on a string, we can assume that it was set in a piece of jewelry or placed in some sort of container,” the newspaper quoted the researchers as saying.

According to the directors of the excavation, Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "the size of the object, its shape, and the text on it indicate that it was apparently used as an amulet for blessing and protection."

"The purpose of an amulet like this is to gain personal protection," they told Haaretz.

"Since time immemorial, the purpose of amulets like these is to seek protection from the evil eye."

Pottery sherds uncovered at the site, including a complete lamp, date back to the Abbasid period.

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