Courtesy Badè Institute

The passage of power from the Babylonians to the Persians is recorded in two nondescript fragments of pottery jugs from Mizpah. The first reads M(W)S|H or Motzeh (see photograph), and dates to the Babylonian period; the one shown here bears the stamp impression YHD, or Yahud. YHD stamps were introduced to the region after the Persians wrested control of much of the Near East from the Babylonians in 539 B.C. and Judah became known as its Persian equivalent, Yahud.