Archeological Discoveries

May 1, 2012; 'Matanyahu' Seal Found near Solomon's Temple : Archeologists digging under Robinson's Arch in the archeological garden next to the Kotel have found remains of a structure from the late First Temple period, under the base of the drainage ditch currently being exposed.On the floor of the ancient structure, the diggers discovered an ancient Hebrew seal from the late First Temple period. It is made of semiprecious stone and bears the name of the owner of the seal: "To Matanyahu Son of Ho..." (the rest of the name is not legible).

"Finding a First Temple seal in the location closest to the Temple Mount is very rare and a very moving experience. It is like a tangible message from the person Matanyahu who lived here over 2,700 years ago. In the ancient structure under the base of the canal, we also found pottery shards typical of the period, on the floor, as well as fallen rocks and remains of a fire."

May 7th, 2012; Oldest Hebrew Inscription Possibly Found : An Israeli archaeologist digging at a hilltop south of Jerusalem believes a ceramic shard found in the ruins of an ancient town bears the oldest Hebrew inscription ever discovered... The five lines of faded characters written 3,000 years ago, and the ruins of the fortified settlement where they were found, are indications that a powerful Israelite kingdom existed at the time of the Old Testament's King David.

Carbon-14 analysis of burnt olive pits found in the same layer of the site dated them to between 1,000 and 975 B.C., the same time as the Biblical golden age of David's rule in Jerusalem. Scholars have identified other, smaller Hebrew fragments from the 10th century B.C., but the script, which Garfinkel suggests might be part of a letter, predates the next significant Hebrew inscription by between 100 and 200 years.

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