An extraordinary artifact has recently been discovered in the Judean foothills south of Jerusalem, dating from the time of the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome (132–135 A.D.). It is a lead weight bearing the name, in Hebrew letters, of the leader of the revolt and head of state of the then newly declared nation of Israel, Simeona ben Kosba, commonly known in modern times as Bar-Kokhba. The inscription even refers to him by his title, nasi (president or head of state).
This lead weight was found in one of the numerous underground complexes in which the Jewish rebels found shelter from the Romans and kept their stores and water supplies.b
This is the first announcement of this startling find to appear in English. I wish to dedicate it to Alex Singer, of blessed memory, an officer in the Israel Defence Forces, and son of BAR’s managing editor Suzanne Singer and her husband Max Singer. While on patrol in the security zone in southern Lebanon on September 15, 1987—his 25th birthday—Alex was killed in a terrorist ambush as he attempted to save the life of his company commander.