Archaeological discoveries have a way of exciting Biblical enthusiasts and history buffs, alike. While some findings seemingly corroborate religious sentiment others offer up new and fascinating information about past cultures and ways of life. Last week, Israeli archaeologists found the earliest sample of written text ever found in Jerusalem.
The piece that was discovered is part of a ceramic necklace jar — one that dates back to the time of Kings David and Solomon, Haaretz reports. The relic was found near the southern wall of the Old City.
It is significant mainly because the text, which is in the Canaanite language, is 250 years older than the earliest known Hebrew writings found in Jerusalem. This latter inscription dates back to the eighth century BC.
Haaretz has more about the nature of the discovery:
The meaning of the inscription is unknown, but it contains eight letters, which could be part of the name of the jar’s owner or a description of its contents. Reading from left to right, the text contains a combination of letters, approximately 2.5 cm tall, which translate to m, q, p, h, n, (possibly) l, and n.
The inscription was engraved near the edge of the jar before it was fired, and only a fragment of it has been found, along with fragments of six large jars of the same type.
Dr. Eilat Mazar is leading the dig, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the East Jerusalem Development Company.
Here’s more about the find, below: