7,000-year-old letter seal found in Israel hints at ancient long-distance trade

Archaeologists recently discovered Israel’s oldest known seal impression, a device that stamps a pattern onto soft material such as clay or wax in order to seal an object. The tiny clay impression dates back 7,000 years and was likely used to seal and sign deliveries, as well as to keep storerooms closed, according to a new study.

The research team discovered the seal, along with nearly 150 others, during excavations that took place between 2004 and 2007 in Tel Tsaf, a prehistoric village in Israel’s Beit She’an Valley. But while most of the other seals were just pieces of clay without any imprints, one had an impression with two distinct geometric shapes on them, according to The Jerusalem Post


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