(CNN)A dump site is the last place you would expect to find an 8th century B.C. seal for a papyrus document signed by one of the kings of Judah.
Perhaps that’s why it has taken 2,700 years for the piece of clay inscribed with King Hezekiah’s seal to be discovered in Jerusalem.
It is believed to be the first-ever seal — also referred to as a “bulla” — from an Israeli or Judean King to be discovered by archaeologists.
“The seal of the king was so important. It could have been a matter of life or death, so it’s hard to believe that anyone else had the permission to use the seal,” Eilat Mazar, who directs excavations at the City of David’s summit, told CNN.
“Therefore, it’s very reasonable to assume we are talking about an impression made by the King himself, using his own ring.
“This the greatest single item I have ever found,” added Mazar — a third generation archaeologist.