Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Crusader-Era Seal Unearthed at a Farm Site in Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

medieval-Saint-Stamp(IAA)JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—A medieval lead seal stamped by the Monastery of Saint Sabas has been unearthed at the archaeological remains of a farmstead in Jerusalem. The seal features Greek inscriptions and a bearded figure, identified as Saint Sabas, or Mar Saba in Syriac, wearing a cloak and holding a cross in his right and what is possibly a Gospel in his left hand. St. Sabas is known for establishing a monastery on a cliff in the Judean Desert that has been continuously inhabited to the present era. “The Mar Saba monastery apparently played an important role in the affairs of the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusader period maintaining a close relationship with the ruling royal family. The monastery had numerous properties and this farm may have been part of the monastery’s assets during the Crusader period,” Robert Kool of the Israel Antiquities Authority told The Jerusalem Post