Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

1,700 Year-Old Sorcerer’s Curse Uncovered in Jerusalem

Archaeologists have unearthed the ancient ‘curse’ tablet near the city of David in Jerusalem

By: Zak Edwards

Published: October 31st, 2013 in News » World

1,700 Year-Old Sorcerer’s Curse Uncovered in Jerusalem

If revenge is a dish best served cold, then Israel may have the world’s coolest piece of vengeance.

In an archaeological dig near the City of David, archaeologists have unearthed a 1,700 year old lead tablet, a tablet inscribed with a sorcerer’s curse. The Antiques Authority have confirmed the details of the find, which is ‘a curse tablet,’ bearing a spell that was likely written by a sorcerer on behalf of an aggrieved female client named Kyrilla,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

The tablet has had quite the journey.

Discovered “a few months ago in one of the rooms of an enormous building from the Roman period” that suffered an earthquake in 363 B.C.E., the tablet was unearthed only recently. After being carefully extracted, it was packed up and sent to Dr. Robert Daniel at the University of Cologne, Germany. Daniel was responsible for translating the artifact, which revealed quite the story.

According to Daniel, Kyrilla “commissioned a ‘professional sorcerer’ to pen the words. He said the sorcerer calls upon the help of the gods of the underworld – including Pluto, Hermes Persephone and the Mesopotamian goddess Ereshkigal – to assist her.”

Part of the scroll, which was likely hidden in the home of the target, Lenny, reads “I strike and strike down and nail down the tongue, the eyes, the wrath, the ire, the anger, the procrastination, the opposition of Lennys.”

“What we have here might be a metaphorical description of actions taken by Kyrilla designed to gain control over her legal opponent,” added Daniel. “At the same time, we cannot rule out the possibility that writing the text on the tablet was literally accompanied by Kyrilla striking the image of Iennys with a hammer and nails in a kind of ancient voodoo ritual.”

Spooky stuff, and all in time for Halloween tonight.

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