Burnt House

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Burnt House

"We could almost smell the burning and feel the heat of the flames," wrote archaeologist Nahman Avigad, whose team uncovered evidence of the Roman devastation of Jerusalem in AD 70. The affluent residence was part of a larger complex under today's Jewish Quarter. Charred cooking pots, sooty debris, and—most arresting—the skeletal hand and arm of a woman clutching a scorched staircase recaptured the poignancy of the moment. Stone weights inscribed with the name Bar Katros—a Jewish priestly family known from ancient sources—suggested that this might have been a basement industrial workshop, possibly for the manufacture of sacramental incense used in the Temple. A video presentation re-creates the bitter civil rivalries of the period and the city's tragic end; book online for the English showing.

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