Israeli archeologists find rare ancient stone seal

October 30th, 2008 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, Oct 30 (DPA) Israeli archeologists said Thursday they have found a rare stone seal in an ancient building being excavated near the Wailing Wall, a remnant of the Jewish Biblical temple within the historic, walled Old City of Jerusalem.The 1.2 cm by 1.4 cm black stone has an engraving of an archer shooting a bow and arrow. The Biblical Jewish name Habab appears next to the archer in ancient Hebrew script.

Its ancient owner probably held a military position, possibly that of army commander of the Biblical Kingdom of Judah, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement.

It said the seal was the first one made by a private person, bearing a Hebrew name and decorated in the Assyrian style found in Israel. It attests to the “strong” influence of the Assyrian empire in Jerusalem in ancient times, the IAA said.

It said the stone dates back to the latter part of what is known in Jewish history as the First Temple Period, or the 10th to 6th century BC - the time between when King Solomon began construction of the first Jewish Biblical temple in Jerusalem and the holy structure’s subsequent destruction by the conquering Babylonians four centuries later.

The seal was found in a building dating from the seventh century BC, which is currently being uncovered near the Wailing Wall, the only still standing remnant of the second Jewish Biblical temple, built in 516 BC and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

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