The earliest known stone inscription of the Ten Commandments is being auctioned in Beverly Hills on November 16, with an opening bid of $250,000 -- and a stipulation that any owner must put the tablet on public display.
The two-foot-square (0.18 square meter), 115-pound (52 kg) marble slab is inscribed in an early Hebrew script called Samaritan and most likely adorned a Samaritan synagogue or home in the ancient town of Jabneel, Palestine, which is now Yavneh in modern Israel, according to Michaels.
Found in 1913 during the course of excavation for a railroad station, it is believed to be the only intact tablet version of the Ten Commandments, although a version is doubtless available for the iPad. Its original home is thought to have been destroyed by the Romans or possibly by 11th-century Crusaders, though the latter seems less likely. In any event, it remained buried in rubble for centuries.