(Photo by Israel Antiquities Authority/Israel Sun)
A general view of the excavation site
A rare 2,500 seal bearing the name of a woman has been discovered in the excavation of an ancient Jerusalem site.
Archaeologists found the antique – a seal bearing the inscription which translates as “to Elihana bat Gael”, in the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.
A seal bearing the inscription: to Elihana bat Gael. ( (Photo by Israel Antiquities Authority/Israel Sun)
Dating back to the period of the First Temple, excavation directors from the Israel Antiquities Authority said “the owner of the seal was exceptional compared to other women” of the time period. “She had legal status which allowed her to conduct business and possess property.”
A seal bearing the inscription Saaryahu ben Shabenyahu. (Photo by Israel Antiquities Authority/Israel Sun)
Another seal belonging to a man named “Sa‘aryahu ben Shabenyahu” was found nearby.
“Finding seals that bear names from the time of the First Temple is hardly a commonplace occurrence and finding a seal that belonged to a woman is an even rarer phenomenon”, said a researcher.
According to Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen, all archaeologists, the seals “were used for signing documents, and were frequently inlaid as part of a ring that was worn by the owner. In antiquity they designated the identity, genealogy and status of the owner of the seal”.