Used for secondary bone burial after the body had decomposed, it had been plundered by antiquities thieves.
An Aramaic inscription on the chest dates to the time of the Second Temple and reads “Miriam Daughter of Yeshua Son of Caiaphas, Priests of Ma’aziah from Beth Imri.” The inscription confirms a detail of New Testament history—that the Caiaphas family did in fact exist, one member of which would have, as high priest, presided over the trial of Jesus Christ, as the New Testament states. It also confirms that the Israelite priesthood’s Ma’aziah course, established by King David 1,000 years before Christ, was still active in Christ’s day and that the Caiaphas family was part of it (Michelle Morris, “2,000-Year-Old Ossuary Authentic, Say Researchers,” The Jerusalem Post , June 29, 2011).
Another ossuary found back in 1990 was inscribed with the name “Joseph, son of Caiaphas”—another member of the family.
These details of history are fascinating, and the new find once again highlights the very accurate account of the past outlined in the biblical record.