So far no one has ventured a guess as to the origins of this feature on the facade of the Talpiot Tomb.
It takes a little work to hunt up the legitimate parallels but also a certain methodology should be applied. This A, B, C, D rating system of potential parallels might help narrow down the options. This method is adaptable to various forms of research and was developed at the University of the Holy Land for its work at Nazareth Village.
A – A “certain” parallel. Needs to be from the same century, the same locality and the same archaeological context.
B – A “probable” parallel. Needs to be from within a hundred years of the same century, the same general region and a related archaeological context.
C – A “plausible” parallel. Needs to be from within two to three hundred years of the same century, the Mediterranean world, and a somewhat relevant archaeological context.
D – An educated guess. Needs to be from the pre-Medieval ancient world, the Old World, and a remotely relevant archaeological or ethnographic context.
NA – Not applicable. Items which are traceable to the Medieval, Renaissance or modern periods. Items of unknown or untraceable origins. Items lacking a relevant archaeological or ethnographic context.
To achieve an “A” rating where should we look for parallels?
In the meantime you can visit the Talpiot Tomb site in 360 degree VR (modern and reconstructed ancient) developed by our CGI/digital reconstruction expert (S. Pfann, Jr.)
Prof. James Tabor appears to be the first to venture an answer to this question, more or less. In his latest blog (May 5th) he has provided a number of images that resemble the “chevron”. I am not sure that he has answered our question.
He says, “Some of these seem to have some real merit and others I think are probably quite far out but I will offer them without comment or interpretation for now, but as a prelude to a full discussion of the tomb symbol and what it likely meant in pre-70 CE 1st century Jerusalem. They are in no particular order.”
We thought that it would be an interesting exercise to have our readers submit these photos to the grading scale offered above. Would anyone like to give it a try? (One encouragement to all. The real answer to our question “Is this chevron story for real? If not, what is it?” is likely found among these images.)
Once we have worked that through the “chevron” mystery, utilizing the same grading scale and the same images, what does the circle represent? (the bagel offer is not a hint)
UHL Staff Report