Archaeologists Uncover 2,000-Year-Old Inscription of the Word Jerusalem in Hebrew

October 9, 2018 Updated: October 9, 2018

Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Oct. 9 a 2,000-year-old inscription believed to be the first complete Hebrew spelling of the word Jerusalem as known in its current form—Yerushalayim.

The stone was unveiled at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and will go on display to the public on Wednesday.

It was discovered last year on the outskirts of Jerusalem during excavations that uncovered a Roman structure.

Experts say it is the only stone inscription from the Second Temple period that has the entire spelling.

The only other known instance is an inscription on a coin dating back to the end of the Second Temple period.

The inscription on the stone in Aramaic, using Hebrew letters, reads: “Hanania, son of Dudolos from Jerusalem.”

David Mevorah, Israel Museum’s curator of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeology said the purpose of the building upon which the inscription was written is unknown.

But, he said, the find is important as it shows how the city’s inhabitants referred to Jerusalem at the time.

“It is the first time we find an inscription mentioning Jerusalem in the way we pronounce it today, Yerushalaim,” Mevorah said.

He said it is likely Hanania was an artist-potter who took up the name from Greek mythology.