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3,000 year old Canaanite king letter found in Jerusalem

By Mason White 1:56 PM February 27, 2013
Clay tablet with Akkadian language writings 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) One of the world’s oldest published letters was discovered in Jerusalem, Israel, according to press reports in the United States.

Israeli archaeologists have discovered part of a clay tablet that is believed to be more than 3,000-years-old. It is the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem, Israel.

The thumb-sized piece, described as an archived copy of an Akkadian language letter that a Canaanite king, Abdi-Heba, wrote to the king of Egypt. The letter was put on display at the Davidson Center in Jerusalem’s Old City. It was found during excavations at a site of the First Temple period led by Hebrew University archaeologist Eilat Mazar.

“The discovery closes a small hole on the knowledge map of Jerusalem,” Ronny Reich, a senior Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologist, said in a speech after Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat opened the visitor center on the site.

Work on the Mazar Ophel wall has focused on the search for evidence of activity of the Jewish temple palace during the reign of King Solomon, centuries after the Canaanite rulers ruled Jerusalem. The excavation is located in the shadow of the Temple Mount, which Muslims call the Haram Sharif or Noble Sanctuary.

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