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Inscription on Pottery Links Jerusalem of Jesus' Time to Jerusalem of Today

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2018 Oct 10

Israeli archaeologists uncovered a unique piece of pottery that links the Jerusalem of 2,000 years ago to the Jerusalem of today. 

While conducting a pre-construction dig last winter in preparation for a new road, the team of archaeologists unearthed a pillar that was inscribed in Hebrew near the entrance to Jerusalem.

The Hebrew inscription was the first of its kind to be discovered from its time period around the age of Herod the Great, marking it as the oldest inscription ever found using the modern Hebrew spelling and pronunciation of "Jerusalem."  

The pillar is now being displayed in Israel Museum's Second Temple gallery as a part of a new exhibit which features unique artifacts from the capital and is the oldest artifact from the time of Jesus in the exhibit.

The inscription reads, Hananiah bar Dodalos m'Yerushalayim – Hananiah, the son of Dodalos, from Jerusalem.

Dudi Mevorach, senior curator of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Archaeology at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem told CBN that this was a remarkable discovery. He said, "Jerusalem surprisingly for us is inscribed the same way we write it today and the same way we pronounce it today: Yerushalayim.”

He continued, "It's the first time we have an inscription of this sort from 2,000 years ago, from the times of the Second Temple Period."

According to CBN News, Mevorach has seen the name Yerushalayim appear on coins from around the same time, but the coins were from the great Jewish revolt against the Romans in 70 AD and would have had a political agenda, whereas the pottery does not appear to have the same motivation.

"Here, there is no agenda," Mevorach said. "It's just an artisan from a potter's village, stating his name, his father's name and stating that he is not from the village but originally he comes from the big city, from Yerushalayim, Jerusalem."

Mevorach continued, "We now know in a very simple manner that Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, was called Shalem, Yerushalem, and Yerushalayim at the same time, which we didn't know before.”  

"It's just another piece of the mosaic of how we portray the past," he added.

Photo courtesy: Rob Bye/Unsplash