A 1500 years old bronze amulet, inscribed with God's name and magical symbols against the "evil eye" curse, has been discovered recently in Israel.
The ancient jewelry piece was found near the site of an old Jewish synagogue in Arbel, west of the Sea of Galilee.
According to “Live Science”, the bronze amulet has been handed to the authorities. It contains magical symbols against demons, and it is inscribed with Greek letters that spell out the Jewish name of God - I A W Θ, a form of the name "Yahweh".
The location of the discovery and the inscriptions suggest that the amulet may have been worn by a Jew, believes Eitan Klein, an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
"Although scholars generally identify the wearers of such amulets as Christians or gnostics, the fact that the amulet was found within a Jewish settlement containing a synagogue in the fifth and sixth centuries CE [A.D.] may indicate that even Jews of the period wore amulets of this type for protection against the evil eye and demons," Klein said in the statement.
This type of amulet was relatively common at the time in the region of Galilee (now Lebanon); they are sometimes known as variants of the "Seal of Solomon," named after the legendary king of Israel. One part shows the figure of a rider on a galloping horse whose head is encircled with a halo, stabbing a female figure with a spear. Above the rider's head, we can see the Greek inscription "The One God Who Conquers Evil," while the name of God is inscribed beneath the horse's legs.
The back of the amulet shows an "Evil Eye" pierced by arrows and a forked object, and threatened by lions, a snake, a scorpion, and a bird. We can also observe an abbreviation in Greek letters meaning "One God".
The amulet was produced to protect the wearer from curses and demons, and it is also effective against the "evil eye" - an ancient belief that some healers can cast curses on someone just by looking.
How does the "Evil Eye" work
There are many legends regards the "Evil Eye". According to one of them, there was a rock in the middle of the sea that could not be moved or broken with the help of a hundred people. At the seaside was a small town where a man lived who was said to have a "bad eye" (Nazar).
After many efforts, the people of the city brought this man in front of the rock and as he looked at it he exclaimed: "God! What a big rock!" The moment he said that a crack was seen, a loud noise was heard and the rock cracked.
The evil eye is very popular in Turkey and Greece, where people wore talismans to be protected against the evil eye. In Turkey, it is known as "Nazar Boncuk" and talismans against it can be seen hanging on doors, on car windows, worn around the necks, or applied on the clothing of babies.