Impression of King Hezekiah’s royal seal discovered
Ophel excavations south of Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Measuring 9.7 X 8.6 mm, the oval impression was imprinted on a 3 mm thick soft bulla (piece of inscribed clay) measuring 13 X 12 mm. Around the impression is the depression left by the frame of the ring in which the seal was set.
The impression bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew script:
The symbols on the seal impression from the Ophel suggest that they were made late in his life, when both the Royal administrative authority and the King’s personal symbols changed from the winged scarab (dung beetle) – the symbol of power and rule that had been familiar throughout the Ancient Near East, to that of the winged sun – a motif that proclaimed God’s protection, which gave the regime its legitimacy and power, also widespread throughout the Ancient Near East and used by the Assyrian Kings.
Dr. Eilat Mazar: “Although seal impressions bearing King Hezekiah’s name have already been known from the antiquities market since the middle of the 1990s, some with a winged scarab (dung beetle) symbol and others with a winged sun, this is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever
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