Archeologists recently unearthed an extraordinarily well-preserved seal impression believed to have belonged to the Biblical governor of Jerusalem during the First Temple period. The king of Judah appointed the officer, who held the highest-ranking position in the city.
Scientists found the clay seal in the ruins of an ancient house dating to the sixth or seventh centuries B.C. near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Several seal impressions of the Jerusalem governor have circulated on the black market, excavator Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah told Haaretz, but this seal is the only one of unquestionable origin.
The Bible mentions the governor of Jerusalem in two places, 2 Kings 23:8 and 2 Chronicles 34:8, both written about the reign of King Josiah.
Archaeologists found seven other seals bearing Hebrew script in the house, and they discovered dozens elsewhere in the City of David. In 2015, scientists unearthed a seal impression belonging to Biblical King Hezekiah.
Joe Uziel, an archaeologist exploring the site said when the Babylonians burned down Jerusalem in 589 B.C., the fire baked the clay seals and their impressions, hardening and preserving them through the devastation. The seals lend archeological support to Iron Age Jerusalem’s role as a major administrative capital of the Judean kingdom, Uziel told Haaretz. —J.B.