Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Seals and Bullae
(1,052 words)

A seal is an object, usually made of stone, which has been designed and fashioned by a craftsman with carved shapes and/or letters. The mark of the seal, called a bulla, is its impression on a piece of tin, generally used to seal documents. Seals and bullae are known to have been in use throughout the ancient Near East from the 3rd millennium B.C.E., both in Egypt and in Mesopotamia. The main use of the seals was to authorize legal documents. Their presence represented the testimony and agreement of the seal’s owner to the contents of a written document.

The number of bullae that have been pr…

Cite this page
Misgav, Haggai, “Seals and Bullae”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 26 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000546>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423

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