A rare inscription on an artifact dating to the times of King David has been deciphered has been deciphered and shown to the public, Tuesday.
The pottery shards, pieced together by a team of Israeli archeologists, were discovered at the ancient city of Khirbet Qeiyafa in the center of the country.
The jar bears the name of a man named Eshbaʽal Ben Bada, an unknown figure with an interesting name. Eshba’al was a common name until a son of King Saul with the same name unsuccessfully challenged King David’s rule.
To have a name inscribed into a pot which would have contained wine or olive oil indicates a person of great significance.
Saar Ganor, one of the archeologists who discovered the inscription, told Tazpit News Agency that the ceramic jar is around 3,000 years old.
The fact it has an inscription makes it incredibly rare. It’s only the fourth inscription found to date from that part of the biblical era.
The dating confirmed Ganor’s hypothesis, the artifact is from the era of the legendary King David.
Khirbet Qeiyafa is a trove of various artifacts. Ganor said that despite being destroyed long ago, probably by the Philistines, the city may also contain one of King David’s palaces.
Dr. Mitka Golub and Dr. Haggai Misgav were among the team of researchers involved in deciphering the text, which took three years of patient work since its discovery in 2015.
According to Garfinkel and Ganor, “Until about five years ago we knew of no inscriptions dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah.”
Indicating that there had been somewhat of a breakthrough, they continued, “In recent years four inscriptions have been published: two from Khirbet Qeiyafa, one from Jerusalem and one from Bet Shemesh. This completely changes our understanding of the distribution of writing in the Kingdom of Judah.”
By Zack Pyzer