Oldest stone tablet with Ten Commandments up for auction
The world’s oldest known stone tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments - dating back about 1,500 to 1,700 years - may fetch at least $ 250,000 at an auction in the US.
The two-foot-long, 90 kilogrammes marble slab, dubbed the ‘Living Torah,’ will be up for auction until November 16 in California, according to auctioneers Heritage Auctions. The opening bid for the slab with the Decalogue is at least $ 250,000.
The tablet must be displayed publicly, according to the terms of the sale dictated by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which considers the slab a national treasure.
The marble slab, which contains 20 carved lines of biblical injunctions, was discovered in 1913 in Israel, after construction workers began excavating for a railroad. According to Michaels, the slab was purchased in 1943 by a man who then brought it to noted biblical scholars, ‘Live Science’ reported.
Based on the shape and content of the text, scholars concluded that it was an ancient form of Samaritan, an archaic mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew, that dated to between 300 and 500 AD.
There are just four such stone tablets known today, but the others are either in fragments or located at less accessible sites in the Middle East, Michaels said.