Rare 3,000-Year-Old Seal Found Among Temple Mount Dirt

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Young Boy finds rare 3,000-year-old seal. Its location will leave you stunned.

For one young boy, touring Jerusalem with his family turned into an adventure of a lifetime. Ten year old Matvei Tcepliaev and his family were visiting Israel from Russia.  While in Jerusalem, they visited the Temple Mount Sifting Project, where dirt rescued from the Temple Mount is sifted under archaeological supervision. There Matvei found a rare seal dating back to the First Temple period - the first of its kind to be found in Jerusalem. 
They explained to us how to search through the dirt and we started looking. After a while I grabbed something hard and heavy.”  Matbei said. "My mom was next to me. The shape was like a bell, but with a solid bottom and on it were engraved different characters. It was covered with rust. I was very excited and ran to the overseer on the floor.  He told me that this is a very ancient thing and said that they will analyze it."
The seal was only recently deciphered by archeologists. "The discovery of the seal testifies to the administrative activity which took place upon the Temple Mount during those times,stated Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the co-founder and co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project.
 The dating of the seal corresponds to the historical period of the Jebusites and the conquest of Jerusalem by King David, as well as the construction of the Temple and the royal official compound by his son, King Solomon… What makes this discovery particularly significant is that it originated from upon the Temple Mount itselfsaid Barkay. Upon the base of the seal appear the images of two animals, one on top of the other, perhaps representing a predator and its prey. Additionally, the seal is perforated, thus enabling one to hang it from a string”.
Since the Temple Mount Sifting Project’s inception in 2005, more than 170,000 volunteers from Israel and around the world have taken part in the sifting, representing an unprecedented phenomenon in the realm of archaeological research. Visitors find coins, bones, pottery, glass and other relics on a daily basis.
The Temple Mount Sifting Project, under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University and with the support of the City of David Foundation, was initiated in response to the illegal removal of tons of earth from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in 1999.
Since the Temple Mount has never been excavated, the ancient artifacts retrieved in the Sifting Project provide valuable and previously inaccessible information.  The many categories of finds are among the largest and most varied ever found in Jerusalem. Even though they have been extracted from their archaeological context, most of these artifacts can be identified and dated by comparing them with those found at other sites,” said Zachi Dvira, co-founder and co-director of the project.
In recent years, using newly developed methodologies and technologies, the Temple Mount Sifting Project has focused its efforts on the enormous tasks of processing and studying the finds and preparing them for scientific publication. Presently, more than half a million finds are still waiting to be processed and analyzed in our laboratory," said Dvira.
Ein Rundgang durch das historische Jerusalem – ein außergewöhnliches und aufregendes Erlebnis für die ganze Familie
Die Weiss Familie, Israel
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