Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

Stamp seal from Ashdod. Used in the late 13th or early 12th century B.C. to imprint a lump of clay affixed to a letter, the stamp bears signs that may be related to the Cypro-Minoan script. When pressed into clay, the writing on the seal may be read in its correct orientation. This find emphasizes the affinities between Philistine Ashdod and the Aegean world. Ashdod, a major Philistine city-state, stood on the main military and commercial road between Egypt and Canaan. Both Egyptian and Aegean influence are exhibited in Ashdod but Aegean elements, like this seal, predominate.