Dozens of seals and seal impressions from First Temple period found in City of David this year.

editor Friday 8 September 2017 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Ruth Schuster.. Archaeologists believe illustrative impressions were used to seal deals during the First Temple period, lending credence to the theory that Jerusalem was administrative capital of Judean kingdom. Several dozen seals and seal impressions from the First Temple period, many with biblical-type names in ancient Hebrew text, have been found in this year’s excavations of the City of David. [Photo top right: Seals adorned with Biblical names were found by archaeologists at the City of David Excavation in Jerusalem. Credit: Eliyahu Yanai]. The seals lend credence to the theory that Iron Age Jerusalem was a major administrative capital of the Judean kingdom, say archaeologists exploring the site. The Israelite form of certain names found on seal impressions or seals supports the theory that Israelites fleeing the Assyrians found shelter, and even high office, in the southern kingdom of Judah, say archaeologists involved in the dig.

In modern times, when people want to secure a letter or notarised document with a seal, they use wax. Thousands of years ago, in the Iron Age, the Middle Eastern ancients safeguarded correspondence using a sealing of moist clay that would be imprinted with the seal.

If the sealing remained intact, the addressee could know the content hadn’t been read or tampered with, explains Joe Uziel, the director of the excavation, with Ortal Chalaf, for the Israel Antiquities Authority. Remarkably, the fiery destruction by the Babylonians had the effect of inadvertently firing clay sealings. Read the full story.


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Seals (bullae) from the late First Temple period were discovered in the City of David


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