Ancient seal unearthed in Jerusalem


A 2,600-year-old clay seal impression was uncovered in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David.


Bearing the name Gedaliah ben Pashur, the seal impression was uncovered intact recently during archaeological excavations just below the walls of the Old City near the Dung Gate. The name appears in the Book of Jeremiah (38:1) together with Yehuchal ben Shelemayahu, whose name was found on an identical clay bulla in the same area in 2005.

The two were ministers in the court of King Zedekiah, the last ruler in Jerusalem before the destruction of the First Temple.


According to Hebrew University’s Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig, this marks the first time in Israeli archaeology that two clay bullae with two biblical names that appear in the same biblical verse have been unearthed in the same location.


“It is not very often that such a discovery happens in which real figures of the past shake off the dust of history and so vividly revive the stories of the Bible,” Mazar said.


Both bullae, each measuring 1 cm. in diameter and lettered in ancient Hebrew, were found among the debris of the destruction of the First Temple period.

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