Just in time for Purim: Name of Persian King Darius found on Potsherd in Israel

darius potsherd

King Darius the Great, the father of King Achashverosh may be gone, but his name lives on in the form of an inscription found on a potsherd in Israel’s Lachish National Park. It was the first time the king’s name was found on an archaeological artifact, anywhere in Israel. Fittingly, the discovery was made by Eylon Levy, international media advisor to Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog.

Levy found the 2,500-year-old potsherd by chance and turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. “When I picked up the ostracon and saw the inscription, my hands shook,” said Levy.

According to Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Dr. Haggai Misgav of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the artifact dates back to the Persian royal administration at Lachish during the Achaemenid period, at the turn of the fifth century BCE. The inscription reads “Year 24 of Darius,” which tells us that the potsherd dates back to the year 498 BCE.