Eshbaal Revealed: Biblical Name Found on 3,000-Year-Old Jar in Israel

by Associated Press /  / Updated 
Image: Ancient jar
A 3,000-year-old ceramic jar, dating to the time of King Davi, with a rare inscription written in ancient Canaanite script that reads Eshbaal Ben Bada, is shown off to the media on Tuesday after it was discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Valley of Elah, northwest of Jerusalem.Gali Tibbon / AFP - Getty Images

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Israel's antiquities authority says archaeologists have discovered a rare 3,000-year-old inscription of a name mentioned in the Bible.

The name "Eshbaal Ben Beda" appears on a large ceramic jar. Eshbaal of the Bible was a son of King Saul. Archaeologists Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor say the jar belonged to a different Eshbaal, likely the owner of an agricultural estate.

They said Tuesday it is the first time the name was discovered in an ancient inscription. It is one of only four inscriptions discovered from the biblical 10th century B.C. Kingdom of Judah, when King David is said to have reigned. Archaeologists pieced together the inscription from pottery shards found at a 2012 excavation in the Valley of Elah in central Israel.

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