Unique 3,000-year-old jewel vessel found in Israel

Unique 3,000-year-old jewel vessel found in Israel

The find is one of the most valuable ever found of the biblical age. One of the jewels is an artistic work that cannot be found anywhere in the region.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have recently discovered a collection of gold and silver jewelry dating back to 1100 BC hidden in a vessel at an archaeological site at Tel Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley in the northern israel. One piece, a gold earring decorated with molded wild goats, they believe that “has no equal”.

Earrings found in Megiddo

According to Professor Israel Finkelstein from the Department of Archeology and Near Eastern Cultures at TAU, the vessel was found in 2010, but it remained intact. waiting for a molecular analysis of its content. When they were able to clean it of dirt, jewelry pieces, including a ring, earrings, and necklaces, emerged from the vessel.Finkelstein is the co-director of the Tel Megiddo excavation along with Professor Emeritus David Ussishkin of TAU and Associate Director Professor Eric Cline of George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Researchers believe that the collection, which was discovered in the remains of a private house in the northern part of Megiddo, they belong to a period called 'Iron I', And that at least some of the pieces may be originating in Egypt. Some of the jewelry materials and designs, including necklaces made with carnelian stone, they have Egyptian designs belonging to the same periodsays doctoral candidate Eran Arie, who oversees the area where the treasure was found.

A treasure with a mysterious origin.

Earring with the pattern of a wild goat

When investigators removed the container from the excavation, they had no idea that there was jewelry inside. The jewels are well preserved and wrapped in cloth, but the circumstances that surround them are mysterious. According to Finkelstein, it is as if the container it was not the normal place to keep them. “It is clear that these people tried to hide the collection, and for some reason they still could not return to collect them”. The owners they could have diedor have been forced to flee, he says. Ussishkin believes it was the collection of the Canaanite woman who lived in the house.

The variety of jewelry is also out of the ordinary, Arie notes. Although the collection includes a number of crescent-shaped earrings of common Canaanite origin, researchers have found a large number of objects gold in the collection and a good number of pendants made of carnelian, frequently used in Egyptian jewelry from the same period. This marks a strong Egyptian connection, both in influence and in origin. This connection is not surprising, according to Professor Cline, who says that the interaction between Egypt and Megiddo it took place during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

The most outstanding piece, according to the researchers, is a gold earring with a beaded wild goats pattern. “For unique objects, we try to find parallels to help place them in their correct cultural and chronological place, but in this case we have not found anything yet.”Say the researchers.

Adding dimension to a multi-layered excavation.

Carnelian necklaces

It is another fascinating find from a unique archaeological site. Tel Megiddo was a major Canaanite city state before the beginning of the 10th century BC and a northern center of the kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. Is a multi-level excavation with several clearly differentiated time periods and for now there are between 10 and 11 periods stratified and well dated thanks to the radiocarbon analysis. "This sequence of radiocarbon dates does not exist anywhere else in the region.”Says Finkelstein.

The stratum in which the jewels were found has been dated to 11th century BC, just after Egypt ruled in the 12th century BC, says Arie. Any of the jewels was left behind with withdrawal from Egypt or by the owners of the jewels, who were influenced by Egyptian culture.

The researchers hope that analyzes of the textiles in which the jewelry was wrapped and the jewelry itself will tell more about the origin of the collection. If the gold is pure rather than a mixture of gold and silver, for example, the metal would come from Egypt itself, a region that was poor in silver but rich in gold.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.

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