The Middle East and Europe has proven to be a rich area for ancient artifacts. There have been many small pieces found within the last few years. In fact, these artifacts are so small that one could just walk past them and not even realize they date back thousands of years ago.
About three years ago, a 12-year-old Israeli girl discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet. It had appeared to date back more than 3,200 years ago to the days of the Pharaohs. The little girl, Neshama Spielman, and her family had volunteered in taking part in the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The project was originally started so that the volunteers could sort through dirt from the area of the biblical temples of Jerusalem.
That is when Spielman found the pendant-shaped amulet among the dirt. The amulet appears to have on it the name of the Egyptian ruler Thutmose III. The little girl said that she had found the amulet nearly four years ago when she was eight years old. So why did it take this long to announce that she had found the amulet? Zeev Orenstein, an official with City of David Foundation, said that it can take years to determine whether or not an artifact such as the amulet was important and authentic.
Since the project began in 2004, nearly 17,000 people have volunteered to participate. There have been many artifacts found in Israel within the last few years. Here is a list of just a handful of the artifacts just found in 2016:
- Fortress in Nahariya
This fortress dates back nearly 3,400 years ago. It was unearthed during the construction of an apartment building in Nahariya. In January, it was announced that there had been artifacts found which included human and animal statues, pottery shards, and bronze weapons.
In order for the fortress and artifacts to be preserved, the archaeologists and apartment manager made a deal where the basement of the apartment building would display the artifacts.
- Scarab Seal
While a man was hiking on the Horns of Hattin in Lower Galilee with his family, the farmer discovered an ancient-looking object. He immediately called in archaeologists in order to determine whether or not it was an important find. It turns out he had found a 3,500-year-old scarab amulet dating back to the New Kingdom period in Egypt. The beetle depicts the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III seated on his throne.
- Ancient Fabrics
A fabric collection that dates back 3,000 years ago was created in the era of Kings David and Solomon. An archaeological team had uncovered the material during a dig at the Timna copper mines in the Arava Valley. This was the first-ever discovery of materials found from that era. They were full of different colors, textures, origins, and uses. Linen was also found in the dig, but this was not produced locally and was most likely imported from Jordan.
- Winery and Roman bathhouse
A well-preserved winery and bathhouse were discovered and dated back to nearly 1,600 years ago. They were discovered in excavations of Jerusalem’s Schneller Compound as the area was being dug up for construction of residential buildings.
Archaeologists discovered this burial ground under Bethlehem’s Khalet al-Jam’a. The necropolis has been dated as nearly 4,200-years old, which confirms that it had existed during the Canaanite times. There are graves that exist at the site, but none of them have Israelite marks or inscriptions.
- Twin Seals
Two seals were found; one having the name of a man and the other having a name of a woman. They were found next to each other during an excavation of the City of David near Jerusalem National Park. Archaeologists guessed that the seals were from a large, ancient administrative building that was being unearthed at a parking lot; they date back to the First Temple period. One of the archaeologists on the team said that finding a seal from the First Temple period in Jerusalem isn’t a common occurrence; finding a seal with a woman’s name on it is even rarer.