2,700 year old find in Jerusalem

January 2, 2018 Agencies
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A  significant discovery has been made during archaeological works in the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority and in association with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced the find, a stamped piece of clay from the First Temple period, which belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem – the most prominent local position to be held in Jerusalem of 2700 years ago.



This extraordinary find is a lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired. It measures 13 x 15 mm and 2–3 mm thick.

The upper part of the seal depicts two figures facing each other, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script. The sealing was presented to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, during his visit to Davidson’s Center, near the Western Wall, last week. After the completion of the scientific research, the sealing will be on temporary exhibit in the mayor’s office.

The seal, its use unknown, was retrieved by Shimon Cohen while wet-sieving the soil from a late First Temple-period building (seventh-sixth centuries BCE).

Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site located in the northwestern part of the western Wall Plaza, on behalf of the IAA, believes that “the sealing had been attached to an important transport and served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city.” Dr. Weksler-Bdolah further suggests that “it is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport sent by the city governor. The finding of the sealing with this high-rank title, in addition to the large assemblage of actual seals found in the building in the past, supports the assumption that this area, located on the western slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem, some 100 m west of the Temple Mount, was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period.” According to Dr. Weksler-Bdolah “this is the first time that such a sealing is found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2700 years ago.”

Nir Barkat

Prof. Tallay Ornan of the Hebrew University, and Prof. Benjamin Sass of Tel Aviv University, studied the seal describing:”above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment. In the register beneath the double line is an inscription in ancient Hebrew: לשרער, with no spacing between the words and no definite article. It denotes לשר העיר, i.e., “belonging to the governor of the city.” Prof. Ornan and Prof. Sass add, that “the title ‘governor of the city’ is known from the Bible and from extra-biblical documents, referring to an official appointed by the king. Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of Josiah.

Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem commented: “It is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem. This shows that already 2700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city. Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3000 years. Today we have the privilege to encounter another one of the long chain of persons and leaders that built and developed the city. We are grateful to be living in a city with such a magnificent past, and are obligated to ensure its strength for generations to come, as we daily do.”

Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist of the Jerusalem District in the IAA added: “The outstanding significance of the finds brought upon the decision to conserve the First Temple-period building exposed in the Western Wall plaza excavations and open it to visitors”.

Conservation work at the site, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was carried out by Yossi Vaknin and Haim Makuriya.





2 Responses to “2,700 year old find in Jerusalem”
  1. Gillian Miller says:

    Well, according to most of the world, there is no relationship between Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and Judaism. Such finds as these must upset the Muslim / Arab world as well as organisations such as UNESCO because they prove the tie that we have with Eretz Yisroel. An Inconvenient Truth.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    I quess this wouldn’t be surprising to most…..it’s all about ligitimacy.

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