Zev Radovan

Identification required. Deciphering the name impressed on the damaged bulla proved elusive even to Nahman Avigad, the late dean of Israeli epigraphers. Not enough of the letters of the name survived to identify it. When the bulla described in this article came to light, the mystery here was solved: Both were impressed by the same seal of Hezekiah.

While the image of a beetle pushing a ball of mud or dung is unappealing today, it was quite popular in ancient times. The circular ball recalled the rising sun, and winged disks were widespread symbols of the divine; in combination, the images symbolized the deity bearing salvation.