(Wed May 23, 2012) From Discovery News:
Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 2,700-year-old clay seal with the name of Bethlehem, showing that the town existed centuries before it was revered as Jesus’ birthplace.
Discovered during the sifting of debris removed from archaeological excavations near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, the coin-sized clay seal, or bulla, was imprinted with three lines in ancient Hebrew script: “in the seventh,” “Bethlehem” and “to the king.”
“It seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king (it is unclear if the king referred to is Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah), a shipment was dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem,” Eli Shukron, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement Wednesday.
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