Biblical Archaeology Review 32:1, January/February 2006

Strata: Temple Mount Dump Yields Inscription

Excavators sifting earth dumped from a Muslim excavation on the Temple Mount have discovered an inscribed First Temple period (tenth-early sixth century B.C.) bulla—a lump of clay bearing a seal impression. The top portion of the bulla is damaged, but the excavators say it originally bore three lines of writing, with the lines separated by two sets of double lines.

Gabriel Barkay, who heads the sifting project, told BAR that the second line contains the letters lyhw, apparently a Yahwistic name (one that contains a form of Yahweh, the name of the Israelite God), while the third line has ‘mr. Barkay speculates that the bulla may have been inscribed “l’galyahu [ben] immer,” “belonging to Galyahu [son of] Immer.”

The bulla is oval shaped and measures 0.4 of an inch across. Barkay described it as similar to the seventh-early sixth-century B.C. bullae found in earlier excavations in the City of David, south of the Temple Mount.

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