(WatchJerusalem) No name is as synonymous with the beginning of biblical archaeology as Sir Charles Warren. In 1867, this British military lieutenant and archaeologist was sent to the region of Israel by the Palestinian Exploration Fund.
The stated purpose of the expedition was to excavate at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But they were unable to dig on the mount itself, so Warren’s team made cuts outside its bounds and sunk some 30 shafts in the surrounding area. It was during these excavations that the first genuine biblical artifacts were uncovered: stamped jar handles, which we know today as the lmlk seals.
Bearing the inscription “belonging to the king,” these seals have been dated to the late eighth century b.c.e., around the time King Hezekiah was facing Assyrian invasion. The last 100 years of excavation have turned up over 2,000 of these seal impressions. They have been excavated at various sites across central Israel, loosely focused around Jerusalem (four seals have been found in the northernmost region of Israel).
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