A rare, well preserved Hebrew-inscribed and stamped piece of clay from the First Temple Period belonging to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem was recently discovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Western Wall Plaza.
“Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.” Ezra 6:7 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is always exciting when they discover artifacts that support and validate the Old Testament accounts related to the First and Second Jewish temples in Jerusalem. Israel’s connection to the great city is well-documented and goes back thousands of years. It also renders the notion that Jerusalem could ever be the capital of a Palestinian country as at once laughable and ludicrous.
According to Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site on behalf of the IAA, “The Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding thus reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2,700 years ago.”
The relic was unearthed during a joint dig with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation in the northwestern section of the Western Wall Plaza dating to the First Temple period (6-7th centuries BC).
“This extraordinary find is a lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired,” Weksler-Bdolah said on Monday. “It measures 13 x 15 mm and is 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.” (click to see video)
Weksler-Bdolah said she believes that the seal 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.
“It is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport sent by the city governor,” she said.
“The finding of the seal 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.”
Weksler-Bdolah added this is the first time that such a seal was found in an authorized excavation.
The seal 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 seal will be on temporary exhibit in the mayor’s office. source