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7-year-old Israeli boy finds 3,400-year-old figurine at Tel Rehov site

Ian Harvey

Ori Greenhut discovered a dirt-covered stone while climbing a mound at Tel Rehov earlier this week.According to a statement from Israel’s Antiquities Authority, it contained an image of a person.

The seven-year-old boy unearthed an ancient statuette of a naked woman during a day excursion to the Tel Rehov archaeological site in Israel, antiquities officials said.

The statement added that Greenhut took the statue home with him to nearby Tel Teomin. Moriya Greenhut, the boy’s mother, said she soon discovered her son’s impressive figurine.

According to the statement, his mother explained to Ori this was an ancient artifact and that archaeological discoveries such as this belong to the state.

The family then handed over the statue to the authorities. According to Amihai Mazar, the expedition director of the archaeological diggings at Tel Rehov and professor emeritus at Hebrew University, the 3,400-year-old figurine was created by pressing soft clay into a mold and is representative of the Canaanite civilization of the 15th to 13th centuries B.C.

The Antiquities Authority statement went on to say that some researchers think the figure portrayed that of an actual living, breathing woman, while others view her as Astarte, the Canaanite fertility goddess, known from the Bible and from other sources.

As far as we know, the figurine belonged to one of the residents of the city of Rehov, which was ruled by the central government of the Egyptian Pharaohs at that time, NBC News reported.

A spokeswoman for the Antiquities Authority, Yardenna Alexandre, commended the family of Ori Greenhut for handing in the artifact instead of hanging on to it or selling it.

Read another story from us: The Little Drummer Boy: Sergeant John Clem was 12 years old when he became a Civil War hero

Something like this doesn’t happen often, but there is a growing awareness of people calling up and informing the antiquities authorities that they found an artifact.