Monday, August 13, 2012

Ancient Samson seal found in Beit Shemesh Israel

Another ancient find this time in Beit Shemesh, Israel, confirms the ancientand historical Jewish fighter known as Samson.

Tel Aviv 
University researchers recently found a seal, which measures 15 millimeters or about half an inch in diameter, representing a human figure with a lion at the archaeological site of Beit Shemesh, located between the biblical Cities of Zorah and Eshtaol, where Samson was born, flourished and finally buried, according to the  Bible Books of Judges.

The scene recorded on the label, the period of time, and location of the discovery point to a likely reference to the story of Samson, the legendary character whose heroic adventures included a famous victory in the fight hand-to-leg with a lion.

area during that period of that time.
While the label does not reveal when the stories of Samson were originally written, or clarify whether Samson was historical or legendary, the finding does help to "anchor the story in an archaeological environment," said Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz of TAU's Department of Archaeology andAncient Near Eastern Civilizations. Prof. Bunimovitz co-directed the excavation along with Beit Shemesh Dr. Zvi Lederman. "If we are right and what we see on the label is a representation of a man meeting a lion, which proves that the legend of Samson already existed in the Beit Shemesh 

We can date this seal with fair precision," Bunimovitz adds.

The right place, right time stamp was discovered with other findings on the floor of a house excavated by archaeologists dated to the 12th century BCE. Geographically, politically and culturally, the legends surrounding Samson set out in this time period, also known as the period of the judges, before the establishment of kingship in ancient Israel.

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