Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Discovery of Two Historic Seals in Jerusalem

Seals in this case being ancient Hebrew signature seals, rather than our tough and heroic American Pinnipeds.

Both seals date to the First Temple era and were found during an archaeological dig in Jerusalem.

Ancient Hebrew seal discovered near Jerusalem’s First Temple

This first seal is a personal seal belonging, as inscripted, to "Metanyahu son of Ho...." with his father's name lost to history.

The seal is an amazing and rather attractive tangible piece of history. The seal, used as a signature stamp for documents at the time is an interesting find from the first Temple Period. The seal is made from a semi-precious stone showing it had value and importance to Metanyahu.

Archaeologists unearth ancient Bethlehem seal

This second 2,700 year old seal is the oldest found non-biblical reference to Bethlehem. It was likely used to seal an "administrative tax document".

Note that the seal is made from far more ordinary stone than the personal seal in the first article, but it has great historical importance showing that the existence of Bethlehem dates back to at least the First Temple period.

The seal also shows that Taxes, and administrators needed to collect them, have been with us for over 2,700 years.

Only 40 seals exist from the First Temple period and hopefully these archaeological digs will find more of these rare artifacts. It will be exciting to see what other historic treasures and new information these excavations uncover as they progress.

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