The ‘Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiphas’ Ossuary

This is the first I’ve heard about this ‘discovery’-

Israeli scholars say they have confirmed the authenticity of a 2,000-year-old burial box bearing the name of a relative of the high priest Caiaphas of the New Testament. 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 artifacts. The IAA says in Wednesday’s statement that microscopic tests have confirmed the inscription is “genuine and ancient.”

Here’s the photo, which you’ll want to click to enlarge- it’s quite a big file, courtesy Bar Ilan University- Dr. Boaz Zissu (who also has now been interviewed and the video is available-  as Joseph Lauer reports- The Jerusalem Post added a 2:40-minute video interview with Dr. Boaz Zissu to its article (published June 29, 2011) “2,000-year-old ossuary authentic, say researchers”.   The article, which was at, is now at ) :

Here’s the transcription by Antonio Lombatti


מרים ברת ישוע בר קיפא כהן דמעזיה דבית עמרי

Maria, figlia di Gesù figlio di Caifa sacerdote di Maaziah di Bet ‘Imri

UPDATE:  Joseph Lauer sends along the IAA press release- which you can read below – and he also sent along the photos here:

I’ve also asked Yuval Goren for any information he might have.

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13 thoughts on “The ‘Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiphas’ Ossuary

  1. Fr Stephen Smuts 29 Jun 2011 at 9:11 am
  2. […] HT:  Dr Jim West […]


  3. Craig Bennett 29 Jun 2011 at 9:47 am

    Its fantastic to hear of such a find that is proven to be authentic… how sad it is that robbery is still in progress… now that is a true travesty.


  4. Steve Caruso 29 Jun 2011 at 10:43 am

    Here’s what I was able to pull off the photo. The resolution wasn’t quite high enough to do it with 100% confidence, but there you go.



  5. bobcargill 29 Jun 2011 at 11:40 am


    i’d like to confirm that reports are that this ossuary, purportedly containing the bones of miriam, the daughter of joseph bar caiaphas, was NOT stolen from the so-called “caiaphas family tomb” in the jerusalem peace park, but from the valley of ‘elah in the shephelah.

    is that the report?



  6. Jim 29 Jun 2011 at 12:01 pm

    bob i’m more than confident that it isn’t at all connected with the so called caiphas tomb, but i’ve asked yuval and he’s out of the country at present.


  7. […] The ‘Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiphas’ Ossuary ( […]


  8. Jack Kilmon 29 Jun 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Qayaffa was a priest of the course of Beyt Imri and his SON, Yahosef Bar Qayaffa is the one called “Caiaphas” in the NT. This Miryam was the daughter of Yeshua Bar Qayaffa (apparently Yahosef’s brother), also a priest of the Ma’aziah family in the course of Beyt Imri. The NT Caiaphas was her uncle, not her grandfather.

    We know nothing of Qayaffa other than he was the father of Yahosef, who was High Priest, and THIS Qayaffa, his brother Yeshua.


    • Jim 29 Jun 2011 at 1:24 pm

      thanks. family trees with too many branches.


  9. Jack Kilmon 29 Jun 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Ma’aziah was the 24th Priestly Course. I don’t think Yahosef could be High Priest AND a member of that course but his brother Yeshua apparently was.


  10. […] Quelle:… […]


  11. […] West has a nice transcription of the inscription: The ‘Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiphas’ Ossuary Nice article at Times Union with other pics: Israeli scholars say biblical burial box genuine […]


  12. […] The ‘Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiphas’ Ossuary ( […]


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