Thursday, February 28, 2008


1st Temple seal uncovered in City of David (JPost)
An ancient seal bearing an archaic Hebrew inscription dating back to the 8th century BCE has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Thursday.

The find reveals that by 2,700 years ago, clerks and merchants had already begun to add their names to the seals instead of the symbols that were used in earlier centuries.

The state-run archeological body said the seal, which was discovered near the Gihon Spring in the City of David outside the walls of the Old City, bears the Hebrew name Rephaihu (ben) Shalem, a public official who lived in the Jerusalem neighborhood during this period.

The excavation, which is being carried out by Haifa University Professor Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority, also uncovered pottery shards that date back to the Iron Age 2 (8th century BCE), which they used to date the seal, as well as fragments of three bullae, or pieces of clay that were used to seal letters or goods.

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