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Seals Used by Prehistoric Traders Unearthed in Israel

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Israel SealJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—According to a statement released by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a 7,000-year-old piece of clay bearing impressions made by two different geometric stamps has been identified among the more than 150 bullae unearthed at Tel Tsaf, a prehistoric village site in northern Israel’s Beit She’an Valley. Archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel said the use of two different stamps on the same seal suggests that two individuals may have placed their mark on a shipment of goods or on the door to a silo or barn where goods had been stored as a way to prevent tampering. Analysis of the composition of the clay indicates it came from at least six miles away, but other artifacts at the site indicate the residents at Tel Tsaf conducted long-distance trade with people from as far away as Mesopotamia, Turkey, Egypt, and Caucasia. To read about a 7,000-year-old ceramic vessel unearthed at Tel Tsaf, go to "World Roundup: Israel."

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