‘Hananiah son of Dodalos, of Jerusalem’ Earliest ever 2000-year-old Jerusalem’s inscription exposed

A 2,000-year-old inscription has been unearthed in Jerusalem, the earliest ever found that gives the full name of the city.

The artifact was found during an archeological rescue dig performed outside of the city ahead of the paving of a planned road near the Jerusalem International Conference Center [Binyanei HaUma].

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During the excavations, the foundations of a Roman structure were revealed, supported by columns. Part of one of the columns, re-used from an earlier structure, features the inscription in Hebrew letters typical of the Second Temple period, around the time of Herod the Great’s reign. It reads: ‘Hananiah son of Dodalos, of Jerusalem.’

'Hananiah son of Dodalos, of Jerusalem' Earliest ever 2000-year-old Hebrew 'Jerusalem' inscription exposed

‘As a resident of Jerusalem, I am extremely excited to read this inscription, written 2,000 years ago, especially when I think that this inscription will be accessible to every child that can read and uses the same script used two millennia ago,’ Prof Ido Bruno, director of the IAA and the Israel Museum said.

The name of Jerusalem usually appears in a shortened version, according to the IAA’s Dr. Yuval Baruch, who has studied the inscription. ‘This is the only stone inscription of the Second Temple period known where the full spelling appears,’ he said.

'Hananiah son of Dodalos, of Jerusalem' Earliest ever 2000-year-old Hebrew 'Jerusalem' inscription exposed.jpg

According to Dudy Mevorach, chief curator of archaeology at the Israel Museum, “the archaeological context of the inscription does not allow us to determine where it was originally displayed, or who Hananiah son of Dodalos was.

“But it is likely that he was an artist-potter, the son of an artist-potter, who adopted a name from the Greek mythological realm, following Daedalus, the infamous artist. It is interesting that he decided to add his origin from nearby Jerusalem to his family name.”