Red Ice News

The Future is the Past

Ancient Bethlehem seal found; first reference to city outside Bible
New to Red Ice? Start Here!

Ancient Bethlehem seal found; first reference to city outside Bible

Source: latimes.com
Israeli archaeologists digging near the city of Jerusalem have discovered an ancient clay bulla, about 2,700 years old, bearing the name Bethlehem. The artifact is the only known ancient reference to the city of Jesus’ birth found outside the Bible, experts said. The find shows not only that the city existed, but that it probably also had a thriving commercial trade.

A bulla is a piece of clay used to make an impression in wax, sealing a document. The wax was intended to show the integrity of the document once it reached its final destination. The bulla is generally impressed with the name of the person who sent the document.


A clay bulla, or seal, inscribed with the name Bethlehem, the only known ancient reference to the city found outside the Bible. (Israel Antiquities Authority / May 23, 2012)

The bulla has three lines of text. The first says "in the seventh;" the second says Bethlehem; and the third has the letter "ch," which was probably the last letter of melech, the word for king. "It seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king (it is unclear if the king referred to here is Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah), a shipment was dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem," said archaeologist Eli Shukron, director of the excavation. The bulla itself is what is known as a "fiscal bulla," one used to seal tax shipments to the kingdom of Judah.

"This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods," Shukron said.

The dig itself is somewhat controversial because it is being conducted in a national park in the Jerusalem suburb of Silwan, known to Jews as the City of David. The excavation is funded by the Ir David Foundation, which seeks to populate the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan with Jewish settlers, claiming a link to antiquity.

Article from: latimes.com

Comments

We're Hiring

We are looking for a professional video editor, animator and graphics expert that can join us full time to work on our video productions.

Apply

Help Out

Sign up for a membership to support Red Ice. If you want to help advance our efforts further, please:

Donate

Tips

Send us a news tip or a
Guest suggestion

Send Tip

Related News

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Sunken City in the Mediterranean
Archaeologists Discover Ancient Sunken City in the Mediterranean
ISIS Blows up the Tetrapylon and Roman Amphitheatre in the Ancient City of Palmyra
ISIS Blows up the Tetrapylon and Roman Amphitheatre in the Ancient City of Palmyra

Archives Pick

Red Ice T-Shirts

Red Ice Radio

3Fourteen

How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
Yoko Mada - How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
European Cooking & Philosophy
Elisabeth - European Cooking & Philosophy

TV

Muslim Vikings Exposed: The Money & Propaganda Behind the Lie
Muslim Vikings Exposed: The Money & Propaganda Behind the Lie
The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is Why We Need to End the Patriarchy - Operation Reinhard
The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is Why We Need to End the Patriarchy - Operation Reinhard

RSSYoutubeGoogle+iTunesSoundCloudStitcherTuneIn

Design by Henrik Palmgren © Red Ice Privacy Policy