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Bullae and Seals
(587 words)

[German Version]

I. Archaeology – II. Church History and Canon Law

I. Archaeology

Sealed balls or lumps of clay with a diameter of 1–3 cm were pressed onto strings or knots to keep documents safe and authenticate them (1 Kgs 21:8; Jer 32:10–14; Neh 10:1; Dan 12:4), and to seal vessels, bags (Job 14:17), doors (Deut 32:34; Song 4:12; Dan 14:11,17; cf. 6:18), etc. The use of bulls seems to have begun in Egypt c. 2000 bce (11th/12th dynasties); in Palestine, bulls ranging from the 18th century bce to the Byzantine period hav…

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Uehlinger, Christoph and Kalb, Herbert, “Bullae and Seals”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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