Priceless Bar Kochba Relic Found in Israel, Yadin Reports

A seal impression depicting a man fighting a lion, which may have been the seal of Bar Kochba, was found by the archaeological expedition which last winter discovered in a Dead Sea cave the archives of the Jewish freedom fighter, who led the rebellion against the Romans in the Second Century C.E., it was reported here yesterday by Professor Yigael Yadin, who was in charge of the expedition. Prof. Yadin made the disclosure in an address at the closing session of the annual conference of the Israel Exploration Society.

Professor Yadin, who was formerly Chief of Staff of the Israel armed forces, told the conference that the impression was found on a clay fragment which became detached from a bundle of letters sent by Bar Kochba. An enlarged photograph of the fragment disclosed the seal.

A second large-scale archaeological expedition to the Judean desert, where earlier this year the Bar Kochba letters were found, is being planned for this winter, it was announced at the Exploration Society’s conference. The new expedition will cover a wide area east of the Dead Sea from Ein Gedi to Massada, where Jewish freedom fighters made their last stand against the Romans. Prof. Yadin indicated that he would participate in the new expedition.

It was also announced at the conference that Dr. Avraham Biran, former Israel Consul General in Los Angeles and now head of the Foreign Ministry’s Armistice Affairs division, would be appointed as the new director of the Government Department of Antiquities.

Professor H. Susuki of Tokyo University, who participated in the conference, indicated that his university would seek to take part in forthcoming explorations in the Judean desert.

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