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Seals dating back to 700 BCE unearthed in Jerusalem's City of David

Seals dating back to some 700 BCE in Jerusalem, September 2017
Eliyahu Yanai, City of David
Seals provide a window into the lives of Jews who moved to Jerusalem in search of government position

Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the City of David National Park in the area of the walls of Jerusalem unearthed seals dating back to around 700 BCE, to be put on display at the annual City of David archaeology conference next week.

The seals were made from clay, used to seal letter. If the seal was broken, the receiver knew the letter had been opened. While the letters did not survive a destructive fire, which wreaked havoc on the city, the seals were actually well preserved due to the blaze.  

“The earliest seals bear mostly a series of pictures; it appears that instead of writing the names of the clerks, symbols were used to show who the signatory was, or what he was sealing," According to Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, directors of the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Clara Amit, Antiquities Authority

The seals provide a window into the lives of ancient Jews who moved to Jerusalem in search of government positions.  

Hebrew names on the seals bear resemblance to biblical names, such as "Pinchas" and "Achiav Ben Menachem" which is similar to the name of King Ahab who is mentioned in the tales from the prophet Elijah.

“These names are part of the evidence that after the exile of the Tribes of Israel, refugees arrived in Jerusalem from the northern kingdom, and found their way into senior positions in Jerusalem’s administration, ” Chalaf and Uziel said. 

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