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A huge cache of clay seal impressions (known as bullae) was found at the ancient Hellenistic city of Maresha, located in the Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park. Archaeologists recently discovered seven previously unknown rooms in the cave complex of Maresha, including one that had 1020 untouched clay seals lying on the floor amidst broken pottery. An initial study of 300 of the clay seals suggest they date primarily from the second century BC and may have been part of a private archive. The delicate, unfired bullae depict images of various gods, such as Apollo, Athena, and Aphrodite, as well as cornucopia, masks and animals. Only a few bore Greek letters and numbers, perhaps indicating dates; none of the seals in the initial survey had written inscriptions. The trove of seal impressions confirm that Maresha was a significant city in the Hellenistic world with major ties to the outside world.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.timesofisrael.com/1020-untouched-clay-sealings-discovered-after-two-millennia-in-hidden-cave/
- http://huc.edu/news/2018/09/04/hundreds-hellenistic-period-seal-impressions-discovered-maresha-israel

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019