The collection of West Semitic seals, dating from the 8th to the
6th centuries BCE, illuminate various fields relating to
the history of the Land of Israel and neighboring cultures,
such as the development of writing, language, names, administration,
society, religion, and art.
In addition to Hebrew seals, the collection also includes Phoenician,
Ammonite, Moabite, and Aramaic seals. The widespread diffusion of Hebrew seals compared
with all the other West Semitic seals indicates that many people in Israelite society had
the ability to read and write. The most important of the Hebrew seals are
those bearing titles indicating the rank and function of the
seal's owner in the royal administration.
Great significance is given to the seven seals in the collection that bear a
woman's name. Seals that belong to women are very rare. They are proof of the social
status and legal rights that women in the West Semitic society enjoyed during biblical times.
A seal made of hard colored stone, depicting a proto-Ionic capital,
typical of First Temple public buildings.
Below the capital, the inscription "To Padajah,son of the King", 597 BCE.