Earliest inscription from Jerusalem's City of David deciphered

Prof. Galil of the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies says the inscription proves Jerusalem was not only a fortified city but also a very important cultural and cultic center

Researchers successfully deciphered the earliest inscription discovered in Jerusalem's historical City of David, the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies announced on Wednesday.
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  • The institute's director Prof. Gershon Galil announced the findings which are the earliest and most important evidence of Israelite presence in the city.
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    לוח האבן מעיר דוד
    לוח האבן מעיר דוד
    The ancient inscription
    (Photo: Courtesy of Prof. Gershon Galil)
    Galil is also a professor in the Department of Jewish History and Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa.
    "The new inscription proves that Jerusalem was not only a fortified city but also a very important cultural and cultic center, where excellent scribes and sophisticated magicians managed to write this important monumental inscription, as well as hold voodoo ceremonies," Galil said.
    "Being the earliest known inscription of this sort in Canaan, it must have served as a model for other writers and priests in later periods and in different places in the land."
    2 View gallery
    מצבת הפולחן
    מצבת הפולחן
    The tombstone with the ancient ritual script
    (Photo: Vladimir Naykhin)
    The inscription consists of 20 words and 63 letters in the ancient proto-Canaanite script. It reads as a curse wishing the death of the governor of Jerusalem: "Cursed, Cursed, you shall die; governor of the city, you shall die."
    The stone slab was discovered by Eli Shukron, who conducted the excavation near the Gihon Spring area in 2010, and It dates to the Middle Bronze Age or Late Bronze Age period.
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