A few characters on a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug, which was unearthed at the Ophel near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount , have stumped archaeologists until now. Prof. Gershon Galil of Haifa University has deciphered it. He says the inscription, unearthed in a dig led by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University, may be the oldest Hebrew text discovered to date. It attests to Jerusalem in the tenth century BCE – apparently in the reign Solomon – having an administration which collected taxes, recruited labor and saw to their needs. The text he said was penned in the oldest form of written Hebrew by a competent writer and confirmed the presence of ancient Israelites in Jerusalem in accordance with the Biblical record.