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Rare 800 Yr Old Christian Monastery Seal Discovered in Jerusalem

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« on: May 29, 2014, 11:58:53 pm »

Rare 800 Yr Old Christian Monastery Seal Discovered in Jerusalem
The seal was found in an excavation in 2012 in the Bayit Ve'Gan neighborhood among farmstead artifacts.
By: Hana Levi Julian
Published: May 27th, 2014

Seal of Mar Sabas

Seal of Mar Sabas
Photo Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A rare 800-year-old Christian monastery lead seal was discovered in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Ve’Gan, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday.

The seal – or bulla, as it is known in Latin – was found during an excavation in the summer of 2012 at the Horbath Mizmil archaeological dig, and has since been identified as belonging to the Saint Sabas monastery. The site was abandoned at the end of the Byzantine period and resettled during the Crusader period (11-12 CE) and reached maximum population during the Mamluk period (13-15 CE). Artifacts discovered during the excavations reflected daily life in a farmstead there – and the seal.

S. Sabas – or Mar Saba, in Syriac – was an important leader among the Christian monasteries during the Byzantine period in the area of the Judean Desert.

The seal bears an inscription for Mar Saba, the saint, in Greek, with his likeness, on one side, and a second inscription attributing the item to the saint’s largest monastery, the ‘Great Laura’ during the Byzantine period in the Jerusalem area. The two parts of the seal, which are meant to be pressed together, are connected by a single thread.

Dr. Yuval Baruch, IAA regional archaeologist for Jerusalem and surrounds, presented the unique find to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who noted its importance for the history of Christianity in the Holy Land and its significance for archaeological research.
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About the Author: Hana Levi Julian began her career in journalism out of boredom while earning a BA in Mass Communication, creating a news department at SCSU's radio station because all the disc jockey positions were filled. In addition to her former position as a Jewish Press columnist and senior correspondent and editor at Arutz-7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and numerous other media outlets.

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rare-800-yr-old-christian-monastery-seal-discovered-in-jerusalem/2014/05/27/
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