Friday, November 09, 2007

Biblical bad girl was a powerful ancient figure

Jezebel, the queen whose name became synonymous with all things lewd and wicked, probably wielded a fair bit of power in ancient Israel, suggests a stone document seal newly traced to the Biblical "bad girl."

Originally discovered in Israel in 1964, the intricate seal was suspected all along to belong to Queen Jezebel, but confusion over the letters engraved on the stone left some uncertainty. Recently, closer scrutiny of the seal's engraving revealed markings characteristic of royal objects.

"The lion-sphinx with female head and female Isis-Hathor crown, which is unique, this clearly points to a queen," said Marjo Korpel, an Old Testament scholar at the University of Utrecht who conducted the research.

The above story is accompanied by a large photograph of the seal under discussion.