Scientists have found the earliest known reference to Jerusalem


UPI reports that scientists have found the earliest known reference to Jerusalem - written in Hebrew as it's spelled today -on a 2,000-year-old stone unearthed in Israel.

Workers digging near Binyanei Ha'Uma found the inscription during the excavations. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum presented the limestone column drum at a news conference on Tuesday.

The complete inscription, which reads "Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem," was etched into the column as part of a building in a Jewish potters village. Danit Levy, who led the excavation, said that the area was popular for pottery and cooking vessel production during Herod the Great's reign.

In Hebrew, Jerusalem was typically referred to as Shalem in ancient times. On the column, it's spelled Yerushalayim. This is the older reference with that spelling that has ever been found.

"As a resident of Jerusalem, I am extremely excited to read this inscription, written 2,000 years ago, especially when I think that this inscription will be accessible to every child that can read and uses the same script used two millennia ago," Israel Museum director Ido Bruno noted.

"First and Second Temple period inscriptions mentioning Jerusalem are quite rare," said Yuval Baruch, regional archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority. "But even more unique is the complete spelling of the name as we know it today, which usually appears in the shorthand version."

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