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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jews used human skulls in Talmudic era

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 18:10:26 GMT | PressTV

Babylon, present day Iraq

Archaeologists have found evidence suggesting that ancient Jews used human skulls in ceremonies, despite their religious beliefs.

Although there is a strict Halakhic prohibition on touching human remains, recently published findings suggest that ancient Jews might have ignored the rules.

Southampton University researchers said that human skulls were found in present-day Iraq (formerly Babylonia) that are believed to have been used during the Talmudic era.

According to researcher Dan Levene, some of the skulls bear Aramaic inscriptions and at least one of them seems to belong to a woman.

"When I presented these findings in Israel, people told me, 'It is not possible that this is Jewish,'" said Levene. "But it is certainly Jewish."

Levene says many desperate people used talisman in the past and skulls were also used to ward off ghosts or demons, Haaretz reported.

"The fact remains that belief in demons was widespread at this time among Jews as well as other peoples," writes Levene in a report published in Biblical Archaeological Review.

"Incantation bowls are known not only from Jewish communities but from other communities as well."

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