Israel Antiquities Authority

Literate Philistines. A stamp seal from Philistine-period Ashdod, along the Canaanite coast, testifies to the Sea Peoples’ literacy.

Stamp seals were used to imprint lumps of wet clay, which in turn sealed documents. A stamp seal was pressed directly into the clay; in the case of the stamp seal, what we see here is a mirror-image of the writing that would have appeared correctly when the seal was impressed on the clay.