Revealed in Israel, a 2,600-Year-Old Request for Wine


An inscription revealed by multispectral imaging technology on the reverse side of an ostracon found at Arad.

American Friends of Tel Aviv University

In 600 B.C. in present-day Israel, a soldier named Hananyahu sent his friend a request that many of us might empathize with: Send more wine.

He wrote his message on a piece of pottery that archaeologists found in 1965. For years, biblical scholars and researchers have studied the front side of the ink-inscribed pottery shard, known as an ostracon, which was commonly used to write receipts, lists or even letters.

They deciphered the Hebrew words about money and Yahweh, which the man had sent to his friend Elyashiv, but it wasn’t until recently that they came across an appeal for alcohol written on the back side. That’s…

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