10. Offering partial confirmation of the disputed existence and reign of Queen Jezebel, a nearly three-thousand-year-old seal suddenly appeared on the antiques market in Israel bearing her name
The daughter of the Phoenician ruler Ithobaal I, Jezebel, according to the Book of Kings, married Ahab, King of Israel. Encouraging her new husband to abandon his religious convictions in favor of her own polytheistic worship of Baal and Asherah, in addition to converting his nation-at-large, Jezebel allegedly ordered a campaign of religious persecution. For these crimes against God, a member of her own court entourage threw her from a window to be eaten by stray dogs. The veracity underpinning the story of the “most wicked woman in the Bible” has long been questioned, with the Deuteronomistic history famously unreliable and was written centuries after the fact.
Widely accepted that the authors of the biblical narrative were writing at a time when polytheism had become far less tolerated within the Judaic tradition, hence exaggeration of Jezebel into an authoritarian barbarian, it remained a matter of historical dispute whether or not, if she even existed as a Queen, Jezebel might have wielded sufficient power to potentially engage in any of the claims made. Offering a dramatic, if not definitive answer, in 1964 an ancient seal from the 9th century BCE suddenly emerged on the antique market bearing a partial inscription: “Yzbl”, a likely reference to Jezebel. Although remaining a divisive question, the intricacy of the seal strongly suggests royalty.