A seal believed to be from the Bayis Rishon period has been found among huge quantities of earth illegally removed from Har Habayis by Islamic authorities at the site, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
The rare artifact, estimated by archaeologiests to be some 3,000 years old, was discovered by a 10-year-old volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Yerushalayim.
“The seal is the first of its kind to be found in Yerushalayim,” said Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and director of the project for over 10 years. Since 2004, more than 170,000 volunteers from Israel and around the world have lent a hand in the sifting.
“All the parallel seals with similar stylistic designs have been found at sites in Israel — among them Tel Beit Shemesh, Tel Gezer, and Tel Rehov — and were dated to the 11th-10th centuries BCE.”
The seal depicts two animals and is perforated, thus enabling it to be hung from a string.
The project operates under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, with financial support from the City of David Foundation.
More than 500,000 finds are still waiting to be processed and analyzed in the project’s laboratory.