Megiddo Temple Texts 840 BCE

These sealings were placed on pots or packages bound with twine containing ritual supplies created at the Megiddo temple. Some of these supplies were sent out to local households and this opportunity was taken to turn the sealings into a sort of religious news service.

Cast bronze reproduction of the original sealing found during an excavation of Megiddo.
This is a cast bronze reproduction of the original sealing found during an excavation of Megiddo.  The original was dated to the time of Jeroboam II (790-749) although the style of the letter "M" indicates the seal was created around 840 BCE. It used to be displayed at Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem but it is now missing from their online collection. Its letters can be double checked with the original image from the discovery report below. Originally it was the property of the Turkish sultan in Istanbul.


Schumacher, Gottlieb (1908) Tell el-Mutesellim, Volume 1, Report of Finds, Leipzig. Online at:

Life-Priests Blamed for Drought Due to Improperly Controlling Eagle Vultures

(March 13, 2023) Image shows the sun lion indicating this is a statement about life powers.  This sealing is blaming the life-priests for a drought so it must have originated from magic crafters at a temple of the full moon god Su.

Translation in Akkadian (Levant Text 20)

(Read right to left. Capital letters on sealing. Small letters are inferred Inner vowels. Verb is italic bold)
  1. Lu  Ṣu  Ma'u    (Levant Text 20.1)
  2. 'Bu  ReYu  Ru  Ba'u  Mu (Levant Text 20.2)

In English. 

  1. Lack of activity is being pushed
  2. Life-priests are shepherding the eagle-vultures nesting the fertility-fluids

Previous Hebrew Translation Attempt

This token was found near the northern wall of a courtyard in the 5th archeological strata. Schumacher's 1908 excavation report presented this translation (page 99): 
  1. [seal] of Shema
  2. servant of Jeroaboam 

The last line was divided as:

  • 'BR  YRB'M = servant Yaraboam

This is a valid Hebrew translation as far as it goes but names are not a translation, especially when they have no relation to the image.

Location of Megiddo

Image of Original Seal as Found in Discovery Report

Copy of image from discovery report. It was found in a courtyard numbered 1693 during the Megiddo excavations of 1904 led by Gottlieb Schumacher. Present location is unknown. It was reportedly made of green jasper and was 3.7 cm long, 2.7 cm wide, and 1.7 cm thick. 

Apparently a Clay Impression of the Original

Translation Resources Used

All texts translated to the scholar's standard.

Lexicon Used

Olmsted, D.D (January 1, 2022) Mediterranean Akkadian Lexicon 3rd Edition – 2022. DOI Permanent URL: Online at:

Letter Charts Used

Letter Class Comparison ChartLevant Letter Chart