(i24NEWS) A minute stamp seal from 2,600 years ago bearing the name of King David’s son was recently found in an excavation site in Jerusalem, the City of David Foundation announced Sunday in a press release.
The seal, believed to be used by the highest ranking ministers in ancient Jerusalem to sign documents, bears the Hebrew name and title, “Adoniyahu by appointment of the house,” (“Asher Al Habayit,”) and appears numerous times in the Bible under different kings in each of the ancient kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
The phrase appears for the first time on the list of ministers of King Solomon, the Foundation said. “This tiny stamp seal has immense meaning to billions of people worldwide,” said Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation.
The personal signet dates back to the era of Solomon’s Temple in the 7th century BCE and “is another link in the long chain of Jewish history in Jerusalem that is being uncovered and preserved at the City of David on a daily basis,” Speilman added.
The name Adoniyahu was given to one of King David’s sons as mentioned in the Book of Kings. It is also mentioned as one of the Levites in the days of Jehoshaphat, and finally in the days of Nehemiah as one of the “Heads of, the people…” (Nehemiah 9:16).
The unearthed seal is approximately one-centimeter-wide (less than half-an-inch), and based on its calligraphy, dates as far back as the Kingdom of Judah during the 7th century BCE. These types of stamps were small pieces of tin used in ancient times to sign documents, and were meant to keep the letters closed en route to their destination, the City of David Foundation said.
The item was discovered as part of excavations that began in 2013 underneath Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. It was uncovered last month by teenage volunteer Batya Offen, and Israeli teen volunteer.