More artifacts attesting to Jewish, ancient history in Jerusalem; Seals discovered at site of City of David destroyed by Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar II.

Both the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University archeologists unveiled the latest ancient discoveries of Jewish history in Jerusalem on Sunday, an ancient bulla seal referring to Nathan-Melech and another seal referring to Ikar, son of Matanyahu (or Mattaniah), both found in the City of David.

The digs were carried out on an ancient building that was burned and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC during the First Temple Period under King Nebuchadnezzar II, south of the Western Wall. The first clay seal impression discovered dates to the 7th century and reads ”Belonging to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King.” The seal could have belonged to Nathan-Melach, an officer to King Josiah. His name can be found only once in the Bible:  

“Then he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the officer who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.”

-‭‭II Kings‬ ‭23:11‬‬

The second, a blue agate seal, was discovered shortly after. The seal reads “Belonging to Ikar, son of Mattaniah” and is believed to be from the 6-7th centuries BC. Some archeologists believe it may have belonged to King Zedekiah, who’s name was Mattaniah.

According to one of the archeologists, Yuval Gadot, “These artifacts attest to the highly developed system of administration in the Kingdom of Judah and add considerable information to our understanding of the economic status of Jerusalem and its administrative system during the First Temple Period, as well as personal information about the king’s closest officials and administrators who lived and worked in the city.”

Photo: Sean Pavone/