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E02730: Two marble fragments, possibly of an inscribed reliquary, with remnants of a label in Greek, referring to saints/martyrs whose names are lost. Found at 'Ein Kerem, southwest outskirts of Jerusalem (Roman province of Palaestina I). Probably 5th-7th c.

online resource
posted on 2017-04-21, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Fragment A:

[- - -] ̣ἁγίω[ν - - - (?)]

ἁγίῳ Bagatti

'[- - -] of the saints [- - -]'

Fragment B:

[- - -]Υ[- - -]

Text: CIIP 1/2, no. 852.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060 Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744

Image Caption 1

Fragment A. From: CIIP 1/2, 225.

Image Caption 2

Fragment B. From: CIIP 1/2, 225.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Archaeological and architectural - Extant reliquaries and related fixtures


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Jerusalem 'Ein Kerem

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis 'Ein Kerem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult Activities - Relics

Reliquary – institutionally owned


Two very small and non-conjoining marble fragments found in cistern M at 'Ein Kerem, in stratum b of its filling. For a description of the village, see E02723. Fragment A: Broken and lost on all sides. Letter height 0.02 m. Almost certainly from the upper rim of a reliquary. Fragment B: Broken and lost on all sides. Letter height 0.02 m. Possibly from the upper rim of a reliquary. First published by Bellarmino Bagatti in 1948. Re-published with a lightly modified restoration by Leah Di Segni in 2012, in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae.


The fragments, certainly belonging to the same reliquary, bear remnants of its label. Although their order is not clear, it is tempting to suggest the following restoration [λείψανα τῶν] ̣ἁγίω[ν μαρτ]ύ[ρων - - -]/[relics of the] holy [martyrs - - -], based on the text of other labels incised directly onto caskets with relics (see E01829). Of course other restorations are also possible, for example with the Υ from the second fragment interpreted as the ending of the name of a saint, in the genitive form. Dating: Di Segni notes that as the filling of the cistern consists of Byzantine pottery, lamps, fragments of mosaics, and architectural elements, the basin must have been being used up to a considerably late period. The reliquary was produced earlier, probably in the 5th or 6th c.


Edition: Cotton, H.M., Di Segni, L., Eck, W., Isaac, B., Kushnir-Stein, A., Misgav, H., Price, J.J., Yardeni, A. and others (eds.), Corpus inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae: A Multi-Lingual Corpus of the Inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad, vol. 1, part 2: Jerusalem, nos. 705-1120 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012), no. 852. Bagatti, B., Il Santuario della Visitazione ad 'Ain Karim (Montana Judaeae): Esplorazione archeologica e ripristino (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. Collectio maior 5, Jerusalem: Tip. dei PP. Francescani, 1948), 76 and Pl. 22, figs. 46, 1-2.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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