Rare First Temple clay seal unearthed in Jerusalem

“The seal supports the biblical record of there being a governor of Jerusalem during the period.”

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: archaeology, Jerusalem
The archaeological site at the Western Wall Plaza. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.
The archaeological site at the Western Wall Plaza. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.

A rare and exciting archaeological find has been unearthed in Jerusalem, providing an extraordinary glimpse into the ancient past.

During excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Western Wall Plaza a few years ago, a small stamped clay seal was discovered dating back to the First Temple period around 2,700 years ago.

The “Governor of the City” of Jerusalem seal. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.
The “Governor of the City” of Jerusalem seal. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.

The clay seal contains ancient Hebrew writing indicating it belonged to the “Governor of the City” of Jerusalem, the highest municipal position during that time.

“This is the first time such a sealing has been found in proper archaeological excavations,” said Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, the lead excavator. “It supports the biblical record of there being a governor of Jerusalem during the First Temple period.”

Experts say the seal, which depicts two figures facing each other below the inscription, was likely attached to an important letter or document. “It may have served as a logo or dispatch sent on behalf of the governor,” explained Weksler-Bdolah.

The area where it was found near the Western Wall is believed to have been inhabited by high-ranking officials based on this seal and other artifacts found previously.

According to Professors Tallay Ornan and Benjamin Sass, who studied the artifact, “The title ‘Governor of the City’ refers to an appointed official, and governors of Jerusalem are mentioned in the Bible during the times of Kings Hezekiah and Josiah.”

The clay seal will be temporarily exhibited in the mayor’s office before undergoing further scientific analysis.

“This unique find brings Jerusalem’s ancient past to life,” said Weksler-Bdolah. “We’re thrilled to reveal this small but significant artifact that deepens our understanding of the city’s long and rich history.”

With reporting by JNS.

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