8th century seal found in Jerusalem dig
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

JERUSALEM - An ancient seal with an archaic Hebrew inscription dating to the 8th century BC has been reported found in an archeological dig in Jerusalem's City of David.

The find shows that by 2,700 years ago, seals were being engraved with the names of clerks and merchants instead of the symbols used in earlier centuries, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The seal bears the Hebrew name Rephaihu (ben) Shalem, a public official who lived in the Jerusalem neighborhood during this period, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The excavation is being carried out by Haifa University Professor Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority. To date the seals they used pottery shards found at the site which were dated back to the 8th century before Christ, a period also known as the Iron Age 2. Also found were fragments of three bullae, which were pieces of clay used to seal letters and goods.

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