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Ancient Bethlehem seal unearthed in Jerusalem

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posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:32 PM
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The tiny clay seal's existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said


I'm wondering if our skeptics here at ATS will buy this bit of news. Some will say this is propaganda or an outright lie. This will solidify others beliefs.


The dig itself has raised controversy. It is being underwritten by an extreme-right wing Jewish organization that seeks to populate the crowded Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan with Jewish settlers, arguing that they have ancient links to the area. The dig is being undertaken in a national park in the area of Silwan, known to Jews as "the City of David." Shukron said the seal was found some months ago, but they needed time to confirm the identity of the artifact.


The image below shows a detail of a seal bearing the name "Bethlehem" in ancient Hebrew script. The Israel Antiquities Authority says archeologists digging at a Jerusalem site have found the oldest artifact that bears the inscription of Bethlehem a 2,700 years old seal with the name of Jesus' traditional birthplace. The clay seal, or bulla, was found in a Jerusalem dig. The seal is 1.5 centimeters (0.59 inches) in diameter and was most likely used to stamp tax shipments said Eli Shukron, the authority's director of excavations.



What say you, ATS?

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posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


If true, that's pretty cool.

Especially about the tax seal since the Gospels mention Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be taxed/censured after Augustus' degree.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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The top line says (transtliterated fragment) "byybg"
Second line "tlhm" which is probably a fragment of Bethlehem
Third line "m"

It could be anything really, part of a deed, a proclamation, sales receipt, signet, etc..



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 


Thanks for that, Dashen.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 


Does that mean it's really a seal of Bethlehem? Or are they making assumptions here?

Either way, it only means the city existed. It proves nothing else.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by Starchild23
 


I'm not an archeologist, so my guess is not as "valuable" I suppose. I can just read the words. It doesn't even say "Bethlehem" just a part of the word. It has no other discernable context as stated above. by me.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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Just because the existence of Bethlehem is shown, doesn't validate the myths and legends that people take literally from The Bible.

The best stories of the current era use known locations for their settings, why wouldn't this have been the same for biblical times?



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by babybunnies
 


That's exactly what I'm saying. Every scrap of evidence we unearth proves nothing about the words that may have been spoken. They only prove that someone was trying to make it look as though words were spoken...

For all we know, we've discovered the last traces of a massive conspiracy, and the Bible was written to cover it up.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by babybunnies
 


Quality reply by both you and Starchild. Stars for that.

This is the exact type of discussion I was hoping this would bring.

If the thread doesn't die, we might get to hear the other side that will say this is undeniable proof, etc.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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reply to post by freakjive
 


I fail to know the political nuances of delaying the announcement but I can only guess, so the only thing I can really comment on is the fact that the elevated symbols are indeed the kind one would find on a seal. As for the rest of the claim, who knows? Can we expect more than conjecture?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 07:39 AM
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To say its undeniable proof would be quite premature. It is however a possible start. As others pointed out, if it proves or anything else proves, that Bethlehem was real, that still does not prove anything a out the Jesus story. The fact that Jews are trying to claim ancestry also does not give me any reason to believe its a hoax. Because why would they present an artifact so obviously linked to the Jesus story when they could have chosen any other name of an ancient city. Curious though, that it is being claimed to say "Bethlehem", when, according to another ATSer, it only says thlm or something like that... I notice the vowels are missing and maybe more? Does that mean all that's missing is the B? Or is there something else about the language I/we don't know that has led these Jewish archeologists to seemingly conmfirm that it is indeed Bethlehem and could not be anything else? It will be interesting to see how the story unfolds. I do notice some people say that there is no evidence Jesus existed, and no evidence his birthplace even existed, so if this is confirmed then that will be one less piece of ammo for them to use. Although there seems to be an abundance of other ammo laying around, some of it meaningful, some not. One thing that comes to mind is, why would there be evidence of his existence? Yes many people believe him to be a figure of importance Now, but it took a long time after he died for this to happen. At the time of his death, most who knew of him thought of him as a poor criminal and one false prophet among many. A small group may have considered him greatly important, but it took a hundred or two hundred years before it became very widespread if I'm not mistaken. And some may have had a reason to conceal evidence. The fact is, we don't know. It sure has become a widespread phenomenon today. But I personally don't know if its all that important if he existed. I think his legend may have even been exaggerated IN ORDER TO take the focus away from his message of peace and kindness. A far cry from the old testament stories, that's for sure.



posted on May, 26 2012 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by Starchild23
reply to post by babybunnies
 


That's exactly what I'm saying. Every scrap of evidence we unearth proves nothing about the words that may have been spoken. They only prove that someone was trying to make it look as though words were spoken...

For all we know, we've discovered the last traces of a massive conspiracy, and the Bible was written to cover it up.


No matter how many scraps we uncover you will keep making excuses why it doesn't matter. There is no one peice that says aha undeniable proof. What there is, is a mounting body of evidence that says what the Bible says is true, despite your wanting it to be otherwise.



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