Limestone engraved with animals believed to date from 10th century BCE, found in rubble excavated from site of former temples.
A rare stone seal believed to date from the 10th century BCE was recently found in rubble removed from the Temple Mount, archaeologists announced. The artifact was found some time in the past half year by a 10-year-old Russian boy who volunteered for a day at the Temple Mount Sifting Project, which sorts through rubble that was excavated from the contested holy site during the construction of the Marwani mosque in the late 1990s. Only recently, however, was the seal deciphered, the group said. The seal, carved from brown limestone, features two crudely engraved animals, one atop the other, “perhaps representing a predator and its prey,” Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the co-founder and director of the project, said in a statement Thursday.
While later stone seals with inscriptions have been found in Jerusalem, Barkay said in a phone call with The Times of Israel that it was unique inasmuch as it was the first of its type and from that period found in Jerusalem.
He said the design might have been a family emblem, but it wasn’t immediately clear.
Seals of this sort would have been used to stamp documents or clay vessels. The one found by the Temple Mount Sifting Project had a hole punched into the tip for wearing on a string.
READ MORE: http://www.timesofisrael.com/tiny-stone-seal-from-king-david-era-found-in-temple-mount-fill/