A bronze amulet inscribed with the name of God and magical symbols for protection against demons and the curse of the “evil eye” has been turned over to authorities after being unearthed in northern Israel 40 years ago.
The amulet, which would have once been worn on a necklace, is thought to date to about 1,500 years ago during the Byzantine period, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) . At that time the region was ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire, which was also known as the Byzantine Empire after Byzantium, the former name of the city it was based in (by then Byzantium had been renamed Constantinople and it is now Istanbul.)
Although the amulet is inscribed with Greek letters, they spell out the Jewish name for God — I A W Θ, a form of the name “Yahweh” in the English alphabet.
Archaeologists found the bronze amulet, which is about 3 inches (8 centimeters) long and about 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide, near the site of an ancient Jewish synagogue at Arbel, just west of the Sea of Galilee. The location and inscriptions suggests the amulet may have been worn by someone who was Jewish, in spite of its religious origins, said Eitan Klein, an archaeologist with the IAA.
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