(CBN) – Just a few miles away from Jerusalem’s Old City, archaeologists have unearthed an administrative storage center from the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh about 2,700 years ago. The excavation was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Researchers found an unusually large structure made of stone walls believed to have been used for governmental activities. There, they discovered 120 jar handles with seal impressions on them in ancient Hebrew. Many of the handles have “LMLK” – which means “belonging to the king” – inscribed on them. Other handles have the names of senior officials and other important men on them.

Archaeologists say this is the most important collection of seals to be found in Israel in recent years. They believe the site was once used by the Jewish government to collect taxes, manage and distribute food supplies, and was surrounded by agricultural plots and orchards.


“The site is dated to a period documented in the Bible by upheavals such as that of the Assyrian conquest campaign – under the command of King Sennacherib in the days of King Hezekiah. It may be that the government economic provisions indicated by the stamp seals are related to these events however, the excavation revealed that the site continued to be active after the Assyrian conquest.

Moreover, the array of stamped seals indicated that the system of taxation remained uninterrupted during this period,” said Neria Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari, directors of the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. READ MORE