JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli archaeologists said on Sunday they had found a 2,000-year-old clay seal near Jerusalem’s Western Wall, confirming written accounts of ritual practices in the biblicalJewish Temple.
The button-shaped object bears the Aramaic words “pure for God,” suggesting it was used to certify food and animals used in sacrificial ceremonies.
The Western Wall is part of the compound revered by Jews as theTemple Mount, where Islam’s al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine now stand in a holy complex Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary.
“It seems that the inscribed object was used to mark products or objects that were brought to the Temple, and it was imperative they be ritually pure,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement announcing the find.
The authority said it believed it was the first time such a seal had been excavated, providing direct archaeological evidence of ritual activity in the temple described in ancient texts.
(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Alistair Lyon)
[Image via delayed gratification on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]
Reuters.com brings you the latest news from around the world, covering breaking news in business, politics, technology, and more.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.