London, August 2 : Archaeologists have found a seal impression belonging to a minister of the Biblical King Zedekiah, which dates back 2,600 years, during an archeological dig in Jerusalem's ancient City of David in Israel.
The seal impression, or bulla, with the name Gedalyahu ben Pashur, who served as minister to King Zedekiah (597-586 BCE) according to the Book of Jeremiah, was found just meters away from a separate seal impression of another of Zedekia's ministers, Yehukual ben Shelemyahu, which was uncovered three years ago.
"We found the imprint in clay, remarkably well preserved, of a seal with the name of Gedaliah the son of Pashur," said Eilat Mazar, who leads the team of archaeologists.
Gedaliah is mentioned in the Bible as among the ministers in the court of King Zedekiah who called for Prophet Jeremiah to be put to death for urging Jerusalem residents to surrender to the city's Babylonian attackers.
"How absolutely fantastic and special this find is, can only be realised when you hold in your hand this magnificent one-centimetre piece of clay and know that it survived 2600 years in the debris of the destruction, and came to us complete and in perfect condition," said Mazar.
The first seal was uncovered inside an impressive stone structure, which Mazar believes is the Palace of David, while the second seal was found at the foot of the external wall of the same structure, under a tower that was built in the days of Nehemiah.
Both of the seals with the names of the two ministers, measuring 1 cm. in diameter each, were found among the debris of the destruction of the First Temple period.
"The letters are in ancient Hebrew and are very clearly preserved," according to Mazar.
"It is not very often that such a discovery happens in which real figures of the past shake off the dust of history and so vividly revive the stories of the Bible," she said.