Courtesy Larry G. Herr

Thanks to ancient bureaucracy, these three administrative buildings at Tell el-‘Umeiri have yielded important information. Archaeologists found the Milkom’ur seal impression (see photo) in the topsoil of building A, which has the thickest walls of the three structures. Building B displays the plan of a four-room house, typical of the Iron Age (see drawing; the rooms are tinted and numbered), but its monumental walls and basement (a rare feature), as well as the discovery of the two ”Shuba’” seal impressions (see photo), suggest its use as an administrative building. Building C, consisting of at least seven interconnecting rooms, primarily contained domestic artifacts such as grinding stones and bone tools. Based on the discovery of the Milkom’ur seal impression and an ostracon recently found beneath these buildings (see photo), the author dates the construction of the buildings to the 570s or 560s B.C.E. This date shows that the Ammonites continued to thrive as a political entity after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and deportation of the Judahites.