Oldest evidence of the name Bethlehem found on ancient seal

Published on May 28th, 2012 | by Admin

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A 2,700-year-old seal bearing the inscription “Bethlehem” is the oldest artifact yet found with the name of Jesus’ birthplace.

Experts state the tiny clay seal’s existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem.

Eli Shukron, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s director of excavations, said the find was significant because it is the first time the name “Bethlehem” appears outside of a biblical text from that period.

Shukron said the seal, 1.5 centimetres (0.59 inches) in diameter, dates back to the period of the first biblical Jewish Temple, between the eighth and seventh century B.C., at a time when Jewish kings reigned over the ancient kingdom of Judah and 700 years before Jesus was born.

[Full story]

Story: The Telegraph | Photo: AFP

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One Response to Oldest evidence of the name Bethlehem found on ancient seal

  1. Hels says:

    It will be interesting to see where the seal is displayed, once every academic in the universe has had a chance to examine the object.

    I can read Hebrew but I cannot decipher the letters from the photos. So hopefully the curators will replicate the complete words on paper for modern viewers, and hang it next to the original.

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