Judean Woman’s Seal

Bulla, late seventh–early sixth century B.C.E. Clay, Plate 1B in Nahman Avigad, “A Note from an Impression of a Woman’s Seal,” Israel Exploration Journal 37 (1987), 18-19.

Seals were used in ancient times as personal identification for documents or objects. The seal left an impression, or in wet clay, much like a modern wax seal. This example of an impressed jar handle, was found in 1976 south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.. The inscription reads, “Belonging to … [woman’s proper name, reading uncertain], daughter of ‘Azaryah.” Stamped jars normally contained a liquid such as oil or wine. The owner of this seal was probably involved in some form of trade or business. Most likely she acted as a private estate owner, marking the containers for her products with her name.

Impression of a woman

Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the southern kingdom of Judah during the divided monarchy, or what later became the larger province of Judah under imperial control. According to the Bible, the area originally received its name as the tribal territory allotted to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob.

A piece of clay that was stamped by an identifying seal and used to fasten a container shut, thereby keeping the contents private.

The site in Jerusalem of the First and Second Temples, according to the Bible.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.