Past and Present Collide
A clay seal from the First Temple Period, inscribed in ancient Hebrew script, was unearthed in the Israel Antiquities Authority excavations at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem.
According to the excavator, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, "the Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2700 years ago."
The seal was analyzed by Hebrew University Prof. Tallay Ornan and her colleague Prof. Benjamin Sass at Tel Aviv University. They described what they found: "Above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised. Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment.Ã¢â‚¬Â The bottom section reads, in early Hebrew script: Ã¢â‚¬Å“To the governor [Ã¢â‚¬Å“sarÃ¢â‚¬Â] of the city.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In the Bible, the role of "governor of Jerusalem" appears several times. In 1 Kings, Joshua is listed as the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is noted as governor of the city in the days of Josiah.