´Matanyahu´ Seal Found near Solomon´s Temple (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gil Ronen 05/01/12)
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Seal with name similar to Prime Minister´s found in the physically
closest structure to King Solomon´s Temple ever unearthed.
Another amazing find on the Temple Mount: Archeologists digging under
Robinson´s Arch in the archeological garden next to the Kotel have
found remains of a structure from the late First Temple period, under
the base of the drainage ditch currently being exposed.
This is the physically closest structure to King Solomon´s Temple
On the floor of the ancient structure, the diggers discovered an
ancient Hebrew seal from the late First Temple period. It is made of
semiprecious stone and bears the name of the owner of the seal: "To
Matanyahu Son of Ho…" (the rest of the name is not legible).
The name Matanyahu appears twice in Chronicles 1:25, in a section
listing names of Hebrews whom King David had appointed to sing G-d´s
praise and perform other functions at the Holy Tabernacle. A few
lines away, the name Netanyahu also appears. Both names are
etymologically very close and mean the same thing: "Gift to [or from]
The seal is about 2 cm. (less than one inch) in diameter. Private
seals in First Temple times served people for signing documents and
were set on rings.
The archeologists had decided in advance that all of the dirt to come
out of this dig would be thoroughly sifted – through use of "wet
sifting" and meticulous sorting of the remaining materials in the
sieve. The sifting is carried out with the help of thousands of
school children from all over Israel, at the Emek Tzurim National
Park. About 4,500 pupils participated in the work in the last few
Archeologist Eli Shukrun commented, "The name Matanyahu, like the
name Netanyahu, means ´gift to G-d.´ These names are mentioned
several times in Scripture. They are typical of names in the Judean
Kingdom at the end of the First Temple period – from the late 8th
century BCE until the Temple´s destruction in 586 BCE.
"Finding a First Temple seal in the location closest to the Temple
Mount is very rare and a very moving experience. It is like a
tangible message from the person Matanyahu who lived here over 5,700
years ago. In the ancient structure under the base of the canal, we
also found pottery shards typical of the period on the floor, fallen
rocks and remains of a fire." (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/01/12)
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