Three years ago the Israel Antiquities Authority Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery acquired a decorated ossuary bearing an engraved inscription. The ossuary was discovered by antiquities robbers who plundered an ancient Jewish tomb of the Second Temple period. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the ossuary came from a burial cave in the area of the Valley of ’Elah, in the Judean Shephelah.
Israel from the late first century BCE until the beginning of the second century CE. The front of the ossuary that was found is decorated with a stylized floral motif above which is a long Aramaic inscription engraved in Jewish script:
‘Miriam Daughter of Yeshua Son of Caiaphas, Priests [of] Ma'aziah from Beth ’Imri’(or, an alternative reading: ‘Miriam Daughter of Yeshua Son of Caiaphas, Priest of Ma'aziah from Beth ’Imri’)
And from the Telegraph:
The ossuary bears an inscription with the name "Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphas, priest of Maaziah from Beth Imri."
An ossuary is a stone chest used to store bones. Caiaphas was a temple priest and an adversary of Jesus who played a key role in his crucifixion.
The Israel Antiquities Authority says the ossuary was seized from tomb robbers three years ago and has since been undergoing analysis. Forgery is common in the world of biblical artefacts.
The IAA says in Wednesday's statement that microscopic tests have confirmed the inscription is "genuine and ancient."