JERUSALEM, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Israeli archaeologists unveiled a 7,000-year-old clay seal impression used for commerce and protection of property, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said Thursday.
The seal impression imprinted with two different geometric stamps was discovered in Tel Tsaf, a prehistoric village located in the Beit She'an Valley in northeastern Israel.
Sealings, also known as bulla, were used in historical times to seal and sign letters and to prevent others from reading the contents.
The sealing found in Tel Tsaf is the first evidence of the use of seals to mark shipments or to close silos or barns, HU said.
When a barn door was opened, its seal impression would break, and this was telltale sign that someone had been there, HU explained.
Measuring less than a centimeter wide, the fragment was found in great condition because of the dry climate of the valley.
As for the two different stamps on the seal impression, the archaeologists assumed that they may indicate a form of commercial activity where the two different people were involved in the transaction.
Other archeological finds at the site reveal evidence that the residents in Tel Tsaf were in contact with populations far beyond the region in ancient times, including people from Mesopotamia, Turkey, Egypt and Caucasia.
The site also yielded clues that the area was home to people of considerable wealth who built up large stores of ingredients and materials, indicating considerable social development.
This evidence points to Tel Tsaf as having been a key site in the region that served both local communities and people passing through. Enditem