LMLK Seal from Khirbet Sharta

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Note:  Large dot indicates approximate location of Khirbet Sharta.

Khirbet Sharta is the ruins of a small village in the northeast part of Kiryat/Qiryat Ata (formerly named Kefar/Kfar Atta), on 2 hills (color photos of the area can be seen at Bible Walks Dotcom).  Prior to some modern construction for residential buildings on the western hill, archeologists conducted a quick salvage excavation, & published their findings in Hadashot Arkheologiyot (HDSUT ARKYAULUGYUT) vol. 14, April 1965.  Pages 8-9 include the following 8 Hebrew sentences in a section titled "KFR ATA":

MORT QBURE SNTGLTE BAQRAY BH' SAR@E, ECMUKE LKPR ATA, NHPRE OL YDY ASR OUBDYE M@Om AGF EOTYQUT UEMUZYAUNYm. Burial caves were discovered by chance in H. Sharta, the suburb of Kefar Ata, excavated according to Asher Ovadiah on behalf of the Department of Antiquities & Museums.
BOT EHPYRE NORk Gm CQR BATR. This season's excavation conducted also a survey on-site.
NM$AU BDRk KLL SRYDYm Mn ETQUPUT EBYZAN@YT UEORBYT, En BATR UEn BMORE. Found in general remnants from the Byzantine & Arabic Ages, both on-site & in caves.
BEZDMNUT ZU NORk CQR Gm BTL ESNY BQRBT KPR ATA, H'SAR@E. When convenient this survey will organize also in the tel the alteration near Kefar Ata, H. Sharta.
NLQ@U KAn HRCYm MTQUPT EBRZL B' UETQUPUT EELNYC@YT, ERUMYT-BYZAN@YT UEORBYT. Here were small shards from the Bronze Age & the Hellenistic Age, the Roman-Byzantine & the Arabic.
Om EMM$A SL TQUPT EBRZL EOLE MR OUBDYE YDYT SL KD UOLYE @BYOE SL HUTm "LMLk MMST" M@YPUC EHRPUSYT EDU-KNPYT. While from the Iron Age raised Mr. Obdiah a handle from a jug & upon her an impression from seal "LMLK MMST" from the dual-wings scarab type.
M$YATE BOMQ OKU SL E@BYOE "LMLk" - EAUPYNYT LTLY YEUDE - MPTYOE. To find in Akko Valley a "LMLK" impression - the typical for Judean Tels - is surprising/astonishing/astounding.
YS LEZKYR SLAHRUNE NM$AE BTL PUHR (TL OKU) MSQULT M@YPUC EMSQLUT ENPU$UT BYEUDE BCUF EMAE EZ'. One must remember recently discovered in Tel Fuchar (Tel Akko) a weight from the weight-type prevalent in Judah at the end of the 7th century.

Besides what was mentioned in this first report, the Archaeological Survey of Israel (Map 24, site #47) mentions that the eastern hill (site #54) contains 2 winepresses cut into its rocks.  Additional rock cuttings & another winepress appear on a hill to the north (sites #30 & #31).

General statistics:
  • 0 HBRN
  • 1 MMST
  • 0 SUKE
  • 0 ZYF
  • 0 Generic
  • 0 cannot classify by inscription

  • 1 2-winged
  • 0 4-winged

Note--These statistics are based on an unpublished photo of the handle kept at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Specific statistics: Generic HBRN MMST SUKE ZYF
2-Winged (Rigid & Top-Register) 0 0 0 0 0
2-Winged Divided   0 1 0 0
2-Winged Undivided   0 0 0 0
4-Winged Lapidarist   0 0 0 0
4-Winged Cursory (many; all Type 484s)   0     0
4-Winged Cursory (few; mostly pithoi)     0   0


  1. M2D, 3:00, xxx, 0 at the IAA (#1966-182):

Although this impression cannot be displayed for publication, it is extremely similar to 3 other M2D stamps already published (all of which lack the top inscription but include a deep bottom half with all 4 MMST letters; see photos below), & the overall shape/size of the shard is extremely similar to Redondo Beach S2DW #18.
(Gibeon field # 106; stamp # 22; museum ID# 60-13-89)
(Redondo Beach ID#13)
(Redondo Beach ID#24)

"And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs."--Joshua 21:3
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This page was created on May 5, 2007, & last updated on May 5, 2007