'Pure for God'
This design is inspired by a tiny seal the size of a button. Made from clay, it is inscribed with the Aramaic words “deka leyah”, meaning “pure for god”. An extremely rare find dated to the Second Templeperiod, it was likely used to mark products which were brought to the Temple and required a seal of purity. A familiar example is the oil jug from the Hanukkah story, which was sealed with the seal of the High Priest. The seal represents the first archaeological testimony to the verse that appears in the Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Shekalim (Ch 5, pg 48) “Whoever seeks libations, should go to Yohanan who is appointed over the seals, and give him coins and receive a seal from him”.
The seal was found during the sifting of archaeological rubble from the Herodian Channel Excavation at the foot of the Western Wall.