Archaeologists have found an inscription dating to the first century B.C. that sheds new light on the ancient past, and on the history of one very important city.


At first glance, this doesn’t look like an incredible historic find. It’s a pretty plain piece of stone, the base of what was once a column. But the cylindrical limestone drum has the oldest known inscription of the word “Jerusalem,” a historic city that continues to be one of the most important and well-known places on Earth.


The drum has gone on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the perfect place for this important find. The column is the remains of a Roman structure that once sat near the entrance to the city. However, archaeologists believe that the column was repurposed from a building that predates the Roman presence here.

Rare find

According to a statement from the museum, the inscription was written in Aramaic, the common language spoken by Jews of the era. The writing is typical to the period when Herod the Great ruled Judea, around the year 37 BC.


The age of this artifact makes it extremely rare. The stone was found in an area that was once a huge pottery operation. Water cisterns, kilns, clay pools, and workspaces were all once located here, all buzzing with activity. People worked here for around 300 years, according to research.

Reading the past

The full inscription reads “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem.” Hananiah was a fairly common name in ancient Jerusalem. The name Dodalos, however, has stumped researchers. Archaeologists believe it may be a version of the Greek name Daedalus that was made famous in ancient myth.

Public Domain Pictures

The new discovery is one for the history books, an incredibly ancient piece of the past. Even after thousands of years, scientists are still learning new things about the ancient city of Jerusalem. Who knows what more could be uncovered about the past in the future?