On Monday, Israeli archaeologists shared that they discovered a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression belonging to a biblical governor of Jerusalem at a dig site near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
As Reuters reported, the artifact, which is about the size of a small coin, is inscribed in ancient Hebrew with the phrase “belonging to the governor of the city” and features two men wearing striped garments standing in a mirror-like fashion reaching down to their knees. The Israel Antiquities Authority believes the insignia would have been attached to a shipment or sent as a souvenir on behalf of the governor, the most prominent local position held in Jerusalem at the time.
“It supports the Biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago,” lead excavator Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah said. “This is the first time that such a sealing is found in an authorized excavation.”
Governors of Jerusalem, who were appointed by the king, are mentioned twice in the Bible. In 2 Kings, Joshua is said to hold the position, and in 2 Chronicles, Masseiah is said to be in the post during the reign of Josiah.
At the presentation of the artifact on Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said the discovery further proves the historical significance of the city.
“It is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem,” he said. “This shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”
Excavations near the plaza of Judaism’s Western Wall have been underway since 2005, and the latest discovery joins seven other seals bearing the names of Netanyahu son of Yaush, Hagav, Yeda-ayahy Usha, and more that have been discovered.