By Eunice Myron
Just a few miles away from Jerusalem’s Old City, archaeologists have unearthed an administrative storage center from the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh about 2,700 years ago.
The excavation was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Researchers found an unusually large structure made of stone walls believed to have been used for governmental activities. There, they discovered 120 jar handles with seal impressions on them in ancient Hebrew. Many of the handles have “LMLK” – which means “belonging to the king” – inscribed on them. Other handles have the names of senior officials and other important men on them.
Archaeologists say this is the most important collection of seals to be found in Israel in recent years. They believe the site was once used by the Jewish government to collect taxes, manage and distribute food supplies, and was surrounded by agricultural plots and orchards.
Researchers say the seal impressions point to evidence that governmental activity occurred south of the City of David in the latter time of the Kingdom of Judah. Archaeologists also found a collection of clay figurines at the site.