Lebanon dig yields spiritual plate

KYOTO (Kyodo) An excavation team from Kyoto University working in Lebanon has found a lead plate believed to date from between the second and fourth centuries that was apparently used to invoke the spirits of the dead.

The 6-cm-wide, 14.7-cm-long plate, discovered near the entrance of an underground grave, is adorned with ancient Greek text that reads “May the unjust be removed from them” and “May signs of a gag and shame, and disgrace be given to them,” along with the names of four people, the team said Tuesday.

Hiroshima University associate professor Hiroshi Maeno said, “Common people in a weak position may have made a wish for the supernatural to accomplish what they were unable to.”