29 May 2020 - 6 Sivan 5780 - ו' סיון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Archaeologists find ancient stone inscription with full spelling of “Jerusalem” E-mail

Last winter, during an excavation near the Jerusalem International Convention Center, archaeologists uncovered a unique stone inscription dating to the Second Temple Period (first century CE). The Hebrew inscription mentions Jerusalem, and unusually, the word uses the full spelling as we know it today.

The exciting find was presented for the first time on 9 October during a joint press conference of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Israel Museum. The excavation was directed by the IAA’s Danit Levy, prior to the construction of a new road, undertaken and funded by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Company and the Jerusalem Development Authority.

During the excavations, the foundations of a Roman structure, supported by columns, were exposed. The most important discovery was a stone column drum, reused in the Roman structure, upon which the Aramaic inscription appears, written in Hebrew letters typical of the Second Temple Period, around the time of Herod the Great’s reign. The inscription reads “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem”.

Dudy Mevorach, Chief Curator of Archaeology at the Israel Museum, commented: “The archaeological context of the inscription does not allow us to determine where it was originally displayed, or who Hananiah son of Dodalos was. But it is likely that he was an artistpotter, the son of an artist-potter, who adopted a name from the Greek mythological realm, following Daedalus, the infamous artist. It is interesting that he decided to add his origin from nearby Jerusalem to his family name.”

Excavations have been conducted for many years in the area of the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha’Uma), where the unique find was discovered.

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