Rare Find: Archaeologists Uncover First Temple Seal

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Archaeologists in Jerusalem's Old City have uncovered a rare find dating all the way back to the time of the First Jewish Temple.

"We found under the base of the Second Temple period tunnel a part of house, part of building from the First Temple period," Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority told CBN News.

Archaeologists digging in a drainage channel that runs from the Pool of Siloam to the Western Wall have been regularly finding artifacts from Second Temple Times.

Shukron explained that the most recent find is the closest First Temple period building they've ever found to the Second Temple.

He then revealed that the house contained another treasure: a tiny seal engraved with the name Matanyahu, similar to the name of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. It means "given to God."

"And this name, we know this name from the First Temple period in Jerusalem, in the seal from Jerusalem, another seal from Jerusalem. We know it is also from the Bible," Shukron explained.

He called it a message from the past.

"Everyone has his seal and this is someone [who gave] us a love [letter] 'Okay -- I was here before 2,700 years. Remember me! Don't forget me!" Shukron said.

Part of these excavations are under Robinson's Arch, where Jewish worshippers would have entered the Temple Mount in the time of Jesus. Nearly 1,000 years earlier, King Solomon built the First Temple on the same spot.

"And the building that we found there so close to the Temple from the First Temple period -- and the pottery and the seal -- gave us more information about Jerusalem from the First Temple period," Shukron continued.

Nearby, just outside the Old City walls, there's an excavation site that was covered by a parking lot. Shukron said that like many places you're bound to find something ancient when you dig in Jerusalem.

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CBN News
Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

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