Curse Tablet from Lebanon

I doubt this brief item from Japan Times will get much attention elsewhere:

An excavation team from Kyoto University working in Lebanon has found a lead plate believed to date from between the second and fourth centuries that was apparently used to invoke the spirits of the dead.

The 6-cm-wide, 14.7-cm-long plate, discovered near the entrance of an underground grave, is adorned with ancient Greek text that reads “May the unjust be removed from them” and “May signs of a gag and shame, and disgrace be given to them,” along with the names of four people, the team said Tuesday.

Hiroshima University associate professor Hiroshi Maeno said, “Common people in a weak position may have made a wish for the supernatural to accomplish what they were unable to.”

The article includes a photo from Kyoto University:

… not sure ‘invoke the spirits of the dead’ is the best way to describe this. We’re clearly looking at a lead curse tablet … for comparanda, see, e.g. one from Leicester or a very interesting one from Cyprus.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem v idus decembres

Johann Joachim Winckelmann
Image via Wikipedia
ante diem v idus decembres


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