Student Finds LMLK Handle

Last month I was in Israel when a friend called and said that one of the students in a group he was leading found a jar handle with a LMLK seal impression laying on the ground at Ramat Rahel (two miles south of the Old City of Jerusalem).  I’ve led student groups around Israel for 15 years and none of them has ever found a LMLK handle and my friend is three days into his first trip when one is found.  Within a day or so, he had sent a photo of the seal impression to “Mr. LMLK” (who immediately published an analysis of it here) and got the expert opinion of Dr. Gabriel Barkay. 

Yesterday, the story made it into the newspaper.  If you’re recruiting for next year’s tour, you can try enticing your students with the hope of such a discovery.  And you might take a closer look at that next potsherd before you toss it.

Lemelek, found by Sanchez
LMLK seal impression; photo by Steven Sanchez

3 thoughts on “Student Finds LMLK Handle

  1. Greetings! Just wanted to say a big thank you for your blog site. I’ve enjoyed the articles so much! I really enjoyed your articles on Eilat Mazar and King David’s Palace. I do believe there will be many finds there and soon!! Look forward to future posts about her findings….

  2. Thanks, Todd! For the record, this seems like an appropriate place to put a cross-reference link to Aren Maier’s chance find of a similar handle at Safi/Gath.

    Both of these handles found on the surface during casual strolls bear the same inscription, but his has a 4-winged icon (type “S4L”), & hers has a 2-winged one (“S2U”). This word appears in the Holy Bible as the name of a person, the name of a tribe of people, & the name of 2 geographically distinct “BiblePlaces”!

    Most of the 4-winged ones are more rare than the 2-winged ones, but his happened to be of the 2nd-most common type, & hers happened to be of medium rarity; hence, hers would be more valuable if it ever were to be put on the antiquities market (& neither of these 2 handles ever will be).

    Coincidentally, the first one I ever acquired on the antiquities market was the same type as hers; & just for the record, I like her method far better, but the price I paid for it was far less than half what it would cost for me to travel one-way to Israel to find one!

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