Archaeologists deciphered a seal impression bearing the name of the 8th century BC biblical King Hezekiah recently found during excavations next to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Hebrew University announced Wednesday.
The bulla, a stamp seal impression, was one of dozens found in recent years in a royal building in the Ophel, excavation leader Dr. Eilat Mazar said at a press conference held at the Mount Scopus campus, and bears the name “Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, king of Judah,” an 8th century Judean ruler.
Mazar called the artifact “the closest as ever that we can get to something that was most likely held by King Hezekiah himself.” She said that the bulla “strengthens what we know already from the Bible about [Hezekiah].”
The bulla in question used to seal a papyrus scroll and an impression of the fibers was preserved on the inverse, Mazar said, suggesting the seal once enclosed a document signed by the king himself.
Hezekiah ruled the kingdom of Judah from around 715 and 686 BC. During his reign the kingdom was invaded by the ascendant Assyrian Empire and the capital, Jerusalem, was besieged by the army of King Sennacherib. The Book of Kings II 18:5 says of Hezekiah that “after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him.” He’s also mentioned in the annals of Sennacherib.
According to the biblical narrative, Hezekiah ordered the excavation of a water channel to bring water from the Siloam Spring into the city and foil the siege. That tunnel was discovered in the 19th century and an inscription found inside it gives an account of its construction.
— ilån bεn zıon (@IlanBenZion) December 2, 2015
Read the full article at Times of Israel