Shema Amulet

Shema amulet, gold and silver, third century, Landesmuseum Burgenland, Eisenstadt.

This amulet was discovered in a third-century CE child’s grave near the Roman frontier city of Carnuntum. The amulet is formed out of a silver capsule and small gold leaf, inscribed with a Hebrew Shema‘ Yisrael written in Greek letters. At its peak circa 200 CE, Carnuntum had a population of around 50,000 people. Situated on the Danube in lower Austria it was the capital of the  Pannonia Superior province and a main trading center on the Amber Road.

shema_amulet

A charm or ornament worn for magical or spiritual protection.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

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