Archaeologists Discovered First Proof of Biblical Bethlehem

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The artifact, a bulla, or piece of clay for sealing a document, may prove existence of Bethlehem dating back to First Temple Period.

Archaeologists discovered the first artifact constituting tangible evidence of the existence of the ancient city of Bethlehem, which is mentioned in the Torah, according to an Israel Antiquities Authority statement.

The artifact, a bulla, or piece of clay for sealing a document or object, may prove the existence of Bethlehem dating back to the First Temple Period.

The dramatic discovery was made while sifting soil from archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the City of David, in the “Walls around Jerusalem National Park.”

The bulla, measuring 1.5 cm, was discovered bearing the name of the city, written in ancient Hebrew script. The dig is underwritten by the Ir David Foundation.

A bulla would be impressed with the seal of the person who sent the document or object, and its integrity was evidence that no one had viewed or opened the document who unless authorized.

Three lines of ancient Hebrew script appear on the bulla, including the words: Bishv’at, Bet Lechem and [Lemel]ekh.