Photo Credit: Courtesy of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
The inkwell dating to the end of the Second Temple period.

A rare archaeological find was discovered at the Horvat Brachot excavation site in Gush Etzion: a complete inkwell dating to the end of the Second Temple period.

The dig is conducted by the Archeology Command Unit in the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, in collaboration with Herzog College.


The inkwell, which was discovered inside a large building dating to the Second Temple period, is made of a clay cylinder with a flat base, a round handle, and a narrow opening with an inward-leaning rim through which the ink and pen were inserted.

Inkwells from this period are rare, and similar artifacts have so far been found in only a dozen sites across the country.

The discovery of the inkwell supports the view that literacy was relatively common among the Jewish population in the Land of Israel during the Second Temple period.

The inkwell probably belonged to a writer or merchant who lived at the site in the years leading up to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Archeology Staff Officer at the Civil Administration Hanania Hizami said: “The rare find discovered at the archeological excavation site joins a wealth of finds that were discovered by the archaeological unit in the Civil Administration and constitute historical and national cultural assets. I welcome the fact that we continue to uncover various archeological finds that contribute greatly to the study of Jewish history in the area. I would like to thank Dr. Dvir Raviv, Haim Shkolnik, and Dr. Yitzhak Maitlis who together led the archeological excavations and contributed to the discovery.”


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