(ORDO NEWS) — Israeli archaeologists have discovered a cave where ancient people sealed artifacts and possibly graves 3,300 years ago. All this time, she was hidden from view just a few meters from the beach south of Tel Aviv.
The use of the cave dates back to the time when the ancient Egyptians, led by Ramses II (r. approximately 1279 BC to 1213 BC), ruled the territory of modern Israel. During the time of Ramses II, Egypt controlled an empire stretching from present-day Sudan to Syria.
More about finds
Construction workers operating a mechanical digger in Palmachim Beach National Park discovered the cave when the machine unexpectedly penetrated its roof. Archaeologists who arrived later went down the stairs inside.
- Inside, as the researchers report, everything is “frozen in time.” Ceramics and bronzes, artifacts often associated with funeral ceremonies, were carefully laid out throughout the cave. It was believed that such things helped the deceased in life.
- Archaeologists have found dozens of pottery vessels, including deep and shallow bowls, some of which are painted red, as well as bowls (wide-bottomed goblets), pots for cooking, storage jugs, and lamps for lighting.
- Some cave crafts were not local. Several pottery vessels have been made in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, says Eli Yannay, an IAA archaeologist. The team plans to analyze possible organic remains on the vessels to learn more about what might have been inside them.
- The cave also contained bronze arrowheads, which, based on their location, were probably in a decayed quiver.
This discovery is made once in a lifetime.
It is exceedingly rare to find an Indiana Jones film set, a cave floor lined with vessels untouched for 3,300 years dating back to the late Bronze Age, around the time of the mighty King Ramses II, Yannay said in a statement.
Unfortunately, it is not clear from the archaeologists’ report whether human remains were found in the cave or any inscriptions or artifacts that could identify the person who owned the things.
After the first explorations, the IAA sealed and guarded the cave again, but, unfortunately, it was recently robbed. They are looking for criminals. What exactly was stolen is unknown.
Now archaeologists are preparing for full-fledged excavations and are gathering a team.
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