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01 January 2018
The seal of the ruler of Jerusalem, dating from the period of the First Temple

On Monday, January 1, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced a unique discovery: during the excavations near the Wailing Wall, a unique clay seal was found that belonged to the ruler of Jerusalem 2700 years ago.

On Monday, January 1, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced a unique discovery: during the excavations near the Wailing Wall, a unique clay seal was found that belonged to the ruler of Jerusalem 2700 years ago.
 

The seal of the ruler of Jerusalem, dating from the period of the First Temple
Office of Antiquities of Israel. Photo: J. Schwartz


Найдена печать правителя Иерусалима, датируемая периодом Первого Храма  Управление древностей Израиля. Фото: Ю.Шварц
The seal of the ruler of Jerusalem, dating from the period of the First Temple
Office of Antiquities of Israel. Photo: J. Schwartz


Найдена печать правителя Иерусалима, датируемая периодом Первого Храма  Управление древностей Израиля. Фото: Ю.Шварц
The seal of the ruler of Jerusalem, dating from the period of the First Temple
Office of Antiquities of Israel. Photo: J. Schwartz



The inscription on the seal was deciphered by scholars as "belongs to the ruler of Jerusalem."

According to archaeologists, this discovery dates back to the 7th-6th centuries BC, that is, the late period of the First Temple. In the Office of Antiquities note that the "rulers of Jerusalem" (other variants of translation - mayors, governors) are twice mentioned in the Torah. This is the name of Joshua, who ruled Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah (VIII century BC), and Maaseiah, who ruled Jerusalem during the reign of Josiah (VII century BC).

Discovered the seal archaeologist Shimon Cohen during the sifting of soil on the ruins of the building, dating from the late period of the First Temple. This building was located about 100 meters to the west of the western wall of the Temple (the Wailing Wall). Apparently, high-ranking officials could live there.

Not the fact that the seal belonged to one of the rulers of Jerusalem. Rather, it was owned by one of the respected residents of the city, who received it from the mayor as a symbol of friendship or a souvenir. Such seals could also be used as seals on goods. Another version: it's about printing (bull) for sealing letters. Previously, archaeologists have found dozens of such bulls of the First Temple period, but they have never before been shown on them inscriptions about belonging to the ruler of Jerusalem.

A unique find was revealed to the current mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.
 
 
 

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