A fragment of a ceramic jar that dates to the rule of kings David (1002-970 BC) and Solomon (970-931 BC) has been discovered near Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The piece dates to the 10th century BC and bears an inscription in the Canaanite language.
It is the only example of its kind discovered in Jerusalem, as well as the earliest, predating the earliest-known Hebrew inscription by 250 years.
The fragment comes from a neckless ceramic jar - known as a pithos - that was found along with six others at the Ophel excavation site.
It could reveal further insights into Jerusalem's colourful history, but as yet the inscription (translating to m,q,p,h,n, possibly l, and n) has no known meaning in west-Semitic languages.
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