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Archaeologists unearth “First Temple era” seals from Jerusalem


Archaeologists have successfully unearthed dozens of ancient seals which date back to the First Temple era. Excavators say that these seals have the “biblical-type” names engraved on them. These seals have been unearthed from during an excavation at Jerusalem. This recent discovery unquestionably indicates that Jerusalem was once the administrative capital of the Judean kingdom.

Excavations in Jerusalem

Experts believe that the biblical names engraved on the seals are reportedly written in ancient Hebrew, which “supports the theory that Israelites fleeing the Assyrians found shelter, and even high office, in the southern kingdom of Judah.”

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In this regard, Director of Excavation, Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf from the Israel Antiquities Authority, revealed that their excavation team is finding more seals that belong to a period before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

This excavation which ended about a month ago is followed by intense study and classification of the seals and other artifacts found during the excavation from Jerusalem. Joe Uziel explains: “Earlier seals, from seals from the 9th century B.C.E. and possibly the first part of the 8th century B.C.E., were pictographic. Many like these were found from the later stages of the Iron Age.

“But from somewhere in the late 8th century B.C.E., until 586 B.C.E., seals started bearing names of the officials sealing the letters. Being in Jerusalem, the officials were part of the Judean administration system: Jerusalem was the capital of the Judean monarchy.”

Joe Uziel is of the opinion that these seals indicate to the fact that Israelite kingdom had influence in Judah, which is indicates that many of the tribes of Israel (Northern Kingdom) while fleeing the in 732 B.C.E arrived in Judah.

Archaeologists believe that after arriving in Jerusalem, these Israelite were able to climb up to senior positions in Jerusalem’s administration. Times of Israel, suggests that exact numbers of these refugees are unknown but these refugees may have numbered thousands.