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Armstrong Digs

Excavating Jerusalem’s Royal Quarter

Herbert W. Armstrong and Ambassador College sent hundreds of students to assist Benjamin Mazar in the excavations of the Temple Mount during the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the foundation has revived this humanitarian effort by sending student volunteers from Herbert W. Armstrong College to assist Benjamin Mazar’s granddaughter, Dr. Eilat Mazar, in excavating Jerusalem’s royal quarter. Excavation sites include the biblical King David’s ancient palace in the City of David and King Solomon’s royal structures on the Ophel at the foot of the Temple Mount.

Spectacular discoveries have emerged from the dust of history, the latest of which is the bulla of Isaiah, announced in January 2018—a bulla is a clay seal stamped with a name.

Dr. Mazar called it the most important individual discovery of her career—a career that includes discovering King David’s palace, Nehemiah’s wall, bullae belonging to princes who persecuted the prophet Jeremiah, a Davidic-era secret tunnel, a Solomonic-era wall, and a spectacular golden medallion featuring a menorah from the sixth century B.C.

Armstrong International Cultural Foundation announces the world premiere of “Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered”—an archaeological exhibit that tells the dramatic story of ancient Judah’s most famous king-prophet partnership.

The clay seals, called bullae, were discovered by archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University during the 2009–2010 Ophel excavations in Jerusalem. The seals were found in the same strata of soil, only a few feet apart, and bear the inscriptions “Belonging to Hezekiah, [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah” and “Belonging to Isaiah Navi[?]” (Navi is the Hebrew word for prophet, though the final letter in Navi is unclear).

In addition to the bullae, the exhibit displays more than three dozen artifacts from the time of King Hezekiah, including royal Judean clay vessels, silver bullion and weapons used during the siege of Lachish. The exhibit includes replicas of the Assyrian wall reliefs of Lachish and the famous Annals of Sennacherib Prism (aka Taylor Prism). Visitors can also walk through a 10-foot-long replica of Hezekiah’s underground water tunnel in Jerusalem.

Come see these remarkable artifacts and discover the inspiring, desperate—yet hope-filled—story of King Hezekiah and Isaiah.

June 10 - August 19

Free admission
Group tours available
Open MON-Thu • 10 – 7
Open FRI, Sun •  10 – 5
Closed SAT

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Top photo: Foundation volunteers remove thousands of years of dust and debris from a dig site at the City of David in Jerusalem.