by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
An amazing find was announced today by the City of David archeological excavation team in Jerusalem.
For those unfamiliar, the City of David project is performing careful excavations of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which sat not where the current city is but on the next hill over in what’s today an Arab neighborhood of Silwan and the City of David archeological park. If you exit the Dung Gate from the Old City and walk straight, that’s Silwan / City of David.
Here’s the find in the words of the archeological team (translated from Hebrew with some editing and explanation added by Reb Akiva)…
A first of its kind find of an item of activity that took place in the Holy Jewish Temple of antiquity was recently discovered in archaeological excavations in the city of David in Jerusalem.
The item in question is a tiny stamp(er). It has written upon it, in an Aramiac abbreviated form “Tahor l’Hashem – Pure to G-d”, which is the designation for items that were being brought to the Temple for a sacrifice and for sacrificial items that had their ritual performed and had to be consumed within Jerusalem (depending on the sacrifice either by the Kohein, his family, or the giver of the sacrifice).
It’s believed the stamp was used in a Temple food storage locker during the Second Temple period.
The dimensions of the object discovered is the size of a button - its diameter is about two inches. It’s made of clay and stamped Aramaic inscription consisting of two rows.
The directors of the excavation which revealed the find, archaeologists Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, explained that "this is the first time such an object has been found. It is direct archaeological evidence of activity on the Temple Mount and the Temple during the Second Temple period."
Everyone knows the details of Chanukah include the story of the Maccabis finding a single cruse of oil marked with the seal of the kohanim, stating it was pure, dedicated to the Temple and not desecrated. This may very well have been the very stamp of Chanukah!
Here’s a video of the press conference (Hebrew, 15 minutes, you’ve got to come to the Mystical Paths web site to view it.)