JTA NEWS
11 December 2017 - 23 Kislev 5778 - כ"ג כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
King Hezekiah’s royal seal discovered E-mail

The Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount, conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology under the direction of Dr. Eilat Mazar, have unearthed an impression of the royal seal of King Hezekiah (727–698 BCE).

Measuring 9.7 X 8.6 mm, the oval impression was imprinted on a 3 mm-thick soft bulla (piece of inscibed clay) measuring 13 X 12 mm. Around the impression is the depression left by the frame of the ring in which the seal was set. The impression bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew script:

“Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah” and a two-winged sun, with wings turned downward, flanked by two ankh symbols symbolisng life.

The bulla originally sealed a document written on a papyrus rolled and tied with thin cords, which left their mark on the reverse of the bulla. This bulla came to light, together with many pottery shards and other finds such as figurines and seals, in Area A of the excavations (2009 season), supervised by Hagai Cohen-Klonymus.

The bulla was discovered in a refuse dump dated to the time of King Hezekiah or shortly after, and originated in the Royal Building that stood next to it and appears to have been used to store foodstuffs.

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