Ancient Seal Stamp and Bulla from Time of Nehemiah Discovered in the City of David During Archaeological Dig in Israel

A seal made out of a piece of clay from the Persian period.

An ancient seal stamp and bulla from the time of Nehemiah has been discovered in the City of David archaeological site just outside Old City Jerusalem in Israel.

According to Watch Jerusalem, the discovery of these items explain Jerusalem’s standing and administration during the Persian period after the Babylonians destroyed the ancient city around 586 B.C. as told in the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah and also Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

The seal stamp originally had a handle, is somewhat like modern large office stamps and was likely used to stamp jars or other large items. The face of the newly-discovered stamp is broken, but it has two images engraved on it which likely represents two characters in a pseudo-epigraphic style, images designed to look like letters.

Haggai 2:23 notes the use of such seals, also called signets, during this period in history. The verse reads: “‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Excavators working at the Givati Parking Lot, the largest active archaeological excavation in Jerusalem, made their discoveries known to the public last month.

The bulla, which is a clay seal impressed with an official seal stamp, “is more intricate and had been impressed twice by the same seal,” Watch Jerusalem reported, and it “depicts a man seated on some kind of throne or administrative chair — perhaps a king or governor — together with pillars (perhaps the rod symbols of the Babylonian god Nabu or Marduk).”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter