Ancient treasures bearing Biblical names discovered in Jerusalem
Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a rare clay seal in Jerusalem that may help to firm up the existence of the Old Testament's King Josiah. The artifacts were discovered in the remains of a structure razed in the 6th century B.C., likely during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., according to experts.
The seal impression features the words: "(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King". Nathan-Melech was a high-ranking official in the court of King of Judah.
According to Fox News, Mendel-Geberovich said in his statement, "Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together".
During the excavation, a 1 cm stamp-seal made of bluish agate stone was also found in the ruins. The stamp has the inscription: "(Belonging) to Ikar son of Matanyahu." The name "Matanyahu" appears in the Bible and on other stamps and seal marks, but the name "Ikar" has not been seen before.
"These artifacts attest to the highly developed system of administration in the Kingdom of Judah and add considerable information to our understanding of the economic status of Jerusalem and its administrative system during the First Temple period, as well as personal information about the king's closest officials and administrators who lived and worked in the city," noted Prof. Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in the statement.
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