Clay Seal

A newly discovered ancient clay seal bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew stating that it belonged to the 'governor of the city' of Jerusalem.

A stamped piece of clay dating back to the First Temple period, whose inscription in ancient Hebrew states that it belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem, was recently discovered

during an archaeological dig in the Western Wall plaza and was recently presented to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Barkat said it is “very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem.”

Although the clay seal is small, measuring just 0.5 by 0.6 inches in diameter and 0.1 inches thick, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said its discovery is significant because it supports biblical accounts of a Jerusalem governorship that existed 2,700 years ago.

“This shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city,” Barkat said.

The seal was discovered in dust piles collected during the IAA’s conservationist operations in the area. The IAA’s Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, who is involved with the Western Wall Plaza excavations in association with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, said 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.”

“This is the first time that such a sealing [has been] found in an authorized excavation,” Weksler-Bdolah said. JN