January 1, 2018 / 11:11 AM / 22 days ago

Israeli archaeologists find 2,700-year-old 'governor of Jerusalem' seal impression

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Monday a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which they said belonged to a biblical governor of Jerusalem.

The artifact, inscribed in an ancient Hebrew script as “belonging to the governor of the city”, was likely 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, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The impression, the size of a small coin, depicts two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner and wearing striped garments reaching down to their knees. It was unearthed near the plaza of Judaism’s Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

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“It supports the Biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago,” an Antiquities Authority statement quoted excavator Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah as saying.

Governors of Jerusalem, appointed by the king, are mentioned twice in the Bible, in 2 Kings, which refers to Joshua holding the position, and in 2 Chronicles, which mentions Masseiah in the post during the reign of Josiah.

The Antiquities Authority’s announcement came several weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision that overturned a decades-old policy on the status of the city and stirred Palestinian protests and international concern.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Adrian Croft

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