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The yad or ritual pointer

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The yad or ritual pointer


Basic Information

Location Jaen, Spain
Country Spain
City Jaen

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 37.7704,-3.7928


During the excavation of the plot between Santa Cruz and Rostro streets, the site traditionally regarded as the centre of the Jewish quarter, in 2004 a marble object was documented and located inside the winery of a house which had a façade on Rostro street. A yad or ritual Jewish pointer has been identified but this attribution has not been totally established.

The recovered object is 10 cm long and around 8 mm thick and its upper part is uniquely shaped with decoration and a split on one of its ends which tell us that it must have been secured to another by a cord, thread or chain. This is why at the beginning the piece was inventoried as a bobbin: a turned object which tenses the thread with which lace and braid are weaved. Notwithstanding, some researchers have suggested it could be a reading pointer for the Torah. To date, there have been various interpretations of this object, though no unanimous consensus has been reached in favour or against the purpose it served in the 14th century. The only thing that has been established is its archaeological context and its stratigraphic dating which confirms that it is an object used by a Jew in the 14th century.

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