Speaking in March, Dr Anat Mendel-Geberovich, from The Hebrew University said: “This is the bulla of Natan-Melech, servant of the King and since he was not mentioned by his last name, we can understand that he was pretty famous in Jerusalem, during the mid seventh century BC, at the time of King Josiah.
“Now, this name, Natan-Melech is mentioned in the Bible only once, in the second book of Kings, where he is mentioned as an official of King Josiah.
“In a story about the famous religious reforms of Josiah, who removed the horses that the former kings had dedicated to the Sun.
“The one million dollar question, it am I holding in my hand the bulla of the same Nathan-Melech that was in the Bible?
The discovery was made in the City of David
The discovery was made in March this year
“I can never say for certain, but what I can say is there is an overlap in three things – first the name which is rare, second the period we’re talking about and third is the fact that we have the title, so he was close to the King.”
Dr Yiftah Shalev, from the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed how the stamp may have become buried beneath the rubble.
He added: “I’m standing right now in one of the rooms of a very large structure, a structure that was built somewhere in the seventh or eighth century BC.
“It was destroyed in a big fire, most probably in 586BC during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem.
“The room was preserved and filled with the destruction, most probably from the second floor above it.
Dr Anat Mendel-Geberovich, from The Hebrew University
“What you can see behind me are stones that came from the walls of the second story, burnt beams and pottery vessels that were probably in the house when it was destroyed.
“The size of this structure indicate that this house was not a regular dwelling, it was probably the house of a very rich person, maybe an officer, or someone from the administration of Jerusalem.”
A second bulla was also discovered baring the name Ikar Ben Matanyahu.
Archaeologists have speculated this could be another Bible reference to Meranyahu – the individual appointed king of Judah by the Babylonians who had his name changed to Zedekiah.
Dr Yiftah Shalev, from the Israel Antiquities Authority
Professor Yuval Gadot, from the Department of archaeology, Tel Aviv University, said: “I’m standing in the Givati Parking Lot excavation being run by the Israel Antiquities authorities and Tel Aviv University in the National Park of the City of David.
“I am holding in my hand a seal with ancient Hebrew letters bearing the name Ikar Ben Matanyahu and I’m standing in the room where this seal was found on the floor in the destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC.
“It’s not a coincidence that this building and the seal that were found in it are located here.
“We are actually in a building that is built on the slopes of the City of David ridge, towards the central valley.”