Thought paper receipts were taking up too much space in your wallet?
Israeli archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year-old receipt carved into a chalkstone slab during an excavation in Jerusalem, as detailed Wednesday in a Facebook post by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
Yes, their deals were literally set in stone.
Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu, the IAA’s minister of heritage, said that “the remarkable discovery” sheds light on “another aspect of Jewish life in the city from 2,000 years ago.”
The FAA discovered the ancient proof of purchase on the City of David’s Pilgrimage Road –widely considered the most important road in the city — which is now the Jerusalem Walls National Park.
The artifact was retrieved from a “tunnel of a previous excavation at the site, dug at the end of the 19th century by British archaeologists, Bliss and Dickie,” per the FAA’s statement.
Scientists postulate that the financial record dates back to the Second Temple period — the time of Jesus, and also when the Romans occupied the region.
Originally part of an ossuary — a type of burial chest used at the time — the economic relic is inscribed with seven partially preserved lines containing “fragmentary Hebrew names with letters and numbers written beside them.”
“For example, one line includes the end of the name ‘Shimon’ followed by the Hebrew letter ‘mem’ [an abbreviation of the of the word for money] and in the other lines are symbols representing numbers,” the researchers wrote in a social media announcement.
“Some of the numbers are preceded by their economic value.”
As such, archaeologists deduced that the inscription was likely either a receipt or a payment instruction carved by someone involved in commercial activity, Jam Press reported. In other words, it’s safe to say that the deal was set in stone.
Both the nature of the transaction and the identity of “Shimon” remain unclear, but the artifact is perhaps rock-solid evidence that ancient peoples were no stranger to the concept of keeping a receipt.
“That such a receipt has reached us, is a rare and gratifying find that allows a glimpse into everyday life in the holy city of Jerusalem,” researchers exclaimed.
It’s yet unclear if the buyer is still eligible for a refund on their purchase.
This isn’t the first time researchers have made a seemingly anachronistic discovery of late.
Last year, scientists proved that Chinese plumbing was ahead of its time after exhuming a 2,400-year-old flushable toilet in Shaanxi province.
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