Historians have something to add to their collection of historicals facts. King Hezekiah’s royal seal was discovered in Jerusalem by an archeological detail.
The research team comprised of archeologists from the University of Jerusalem announced that they have unearthed an ancient seal found under a pile of rubble, located near the southern wall of the Temple. The actual discovery dates back to 2009, but it took the archeologists some time before they could decipher the seal impression.
The expedition, led by Doctor Eilat Mazar, has discovered something that resembled a seal impression on a wax support. The said object measured 9.7 by 8.6 millimeters, and it was inscribed on a piece of clay. After a couple of more research, the team understood that the object unearthed in Jerusalem was the impression of King Hezekiah’s signet ring. Depicted in the seal are two ankhs and a two-winged sun, with the wings spread downwards.
Reut Ben-Arieh, the mastermind behind the actual translation reported that the seal also bore an inscription. Upon translation, the seal would read: This seal belongs to Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, king over Judah.
As we know, from both the biblical tales and from history, Hezekiah, sometimes pronounced as Ezechias, was considered to be Judah’s 13th monarch. An archeologist by the name of Edwin Thiele theorized that the biblical king reigned between 715 and 686 BC.
According to the Bible, it was Hezekiah that bear witness to the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians. King Ezechias was noted for the enlighted matter in which he ruled over his people. According to historical annals, Ezechias was at the helm of many religious reforms, many of which prohibited the worshiping of idols within the Temple of Jerusalem.
There are also many biblical passages that give additional details about Ezechias’s life and feats. Unfortunately, very little is known about the spiritual and political Jewish leader. From the sources pieces together it would seem that the esteemed ruler was the son of Ahaz, the former king of Judah and Abijah. Regarding his mother, historians agreed that her lineage could be traced back to Zechariah, the high priest serving in the Temple of Jerusalem.
Mazar, the leader of the archeological expedition stated that the king’s seal impression wasn’t the only thing discovered under the decrepit temple wall. Among other trinkets, the team discovered a gold medallion and several pieces of gold.
Regarding the seal itself, a little fun fact. It would seem that the seal impression was attached to a document, probably signed by Ezechias himself. The team reached this conclusion after discovering traces of a thin string on the back of the seal.