A 2,700-Year-Old Clay Seal Found in Jerusalem

While discoveries from the Second Temple era (516 BCE–70 CE) and the later Roman period are quite in common in Israel, findings from the First Temple period (destroyed in 587 BCE) are much rarer. Archaeologists recently identified such an item, dating to the 7th or 8th century BCE. Israel Hayom reports:

The clay seal contains ancient Hebrew writing indicating it belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem, the highest municipal position during that time. “This is the first time such a sealing has been found in proper archaeological excavations,” Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, the lead excavator said, “it supports the biblical record of there being a governor of Jerusalem during the First Temple period.”

Experts say the seal, which depicts two figures facing each other below the inscription, was likely attached to an important letter or document. . . . The area where it was found near the Western Wall is believed to have been inhabited by high-ranking officials based on this seal and other artifacts found previously.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security