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The Hand of God and the Evil Eye Amulet

I used to want to be an archaeologist when I grew up. “Grew up” is relative, since I was in my twenties at the time. I read old issues of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for fun, had cut my teeth on Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, and fantasized about discovering lost treasures like Indiana Jones, or the real-life version thereof, my personal hero, Sir Richard F. Burton. Then I found out how much math you had to take—and pass—and decided I should probably direct my energies elsewhere. The mathematics and me, we don’t get along too well. I still have that fascination for archaeology, though, and when I chance upon a news report of something both archaeological and occult in nature, I get to share that passion with all of you.

This week brought not one but two such opportunities. The bronze “Hand of God” sculpture unearthed in Scotland near Hadrian’s Wall, dates back to a Roman invasion in 209-210 AD. And the Muslim “Evil Eye” amulet, discovered in a parking lot in Jerusalem, is at least a thousand years old itself and was meant to offer protection from malefic influences, in particular the “evil eye,” a superstition that is nigh universal.

TheCheezman • July 15, 2018

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