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Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Stone Depicting Jerusalem Name

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Jerusalem Stone
2000-year-old engraving found in an archeological dig in central Jerusalem (ESTI DESIOVOV/TPS)

Archaeologists have unearthed a Second Temple period stone inscription that spells the name Jerusalem as Yerushalayim (as it’s spelled in Hebrew today), rather than Yerushalem or Shalem.

According to the Biblical Archaeology Society, inscription, dating to the first century B.C.E., reads: Hananiah son of Dudolos of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim).

The find is the first written evidence of the name “Jerusalem” found on a column drum dating from the Herodian period.

The inscription, carved on a limestone column drum, was uncovered during excavations led by Danit Levy on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Binyanei Ha’Uma, a massive convention center in the city.

Dr. Alexey Yuditsky of the Academy of the Hebrew Language told reporter Amanda Borschel-Dan of The Times of Israel, that the inscription is more likely Hebrew than Aramaic, although both were used interchangeably during this time period.

According to Yuditsky, the spelling Yerushalayim reflects a Hebrew pronunciation, while an Aramaic one would have spelled the name Yerushalem.

The inscription will be on display at the Israel Museum, along with other artifacts unearthed in the city.

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