Israeli archaeologists announced on Sunday a “once in a lifetime” discovery of an ancient Egyptian tomb from the time of Pharaoh Ramses II filled with dozens of pottery and bronze artifacts.
The cave was discovered on the beach on Tuesday when a mechanical excavator working in Palmahim National Park hit its roof and archaeologists used a ladder to access the spacious man-made square.
In a video released by the Israel Antiquities Authority, amazed archaeologists flash their flashlights at dozens of pottery pieces of various shapes and sizes dating back to the reign of the ancient Egyptian king who died in 1213 BC
in a facebook postauthorities said the tomb “looked like a scene from an ‘Indiana Jones’ movie.”
“Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists mobilized to the site, descending the ladder to this astonishing space, where time appears to have stood still,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.
Bowls – some of them painted red, some filled with bones – were found in the caves with chalices, cooking utensils, storage jars, lamps and bronze arrows or spearheads.
The objects were funerary objects that accompanied the deceased on their final journey to the afterlife, and have remained untouched since they were placed there some 3,300 years ago.
At least one relatively intact skeleton was also found in two rectangular plots in the corners of the cave.
Eli Yannai, an IAA Bronze Age expert, said: “This cave may provide a complete picture of the funeral practices of the Late Bronze Age.”
It was an “extremely rare…once-in-a-lifetime find,” Yannai said, noting that the cave’s additional wealth had remained sealed until recently when it was discovered.
The findings date back to the reign of Ramses II, who controlled Canaan, an area that roughly includes modern-day Israel and the Palestinian territories.
In a statement from the IAA, Yannai said the pottery’s provenance – Cyprus, Lebanon, northern Syria, Gaza and Jaffa – attests to “active trade activities taking place along the coast”.
Another IAA archaeologist, David Gelman, reasoned about the identity of the bones in the cave, which is located on a popular beach in what is today central Israel.
“These men were buried along with weapons including whole arrows, which suggests that these men may have been fighters, maybe they were guards on ships – which may be why they were able to obtain ships from all over the region,” he said.
Gehrman said the discovery was “incredible” regardless of the cave’s inhabitants.
“Still, graves are rare, and finding a cave that hasn’t been touched since it was first used 3,300 years ago is something you rarely find,” he said.
“It felt like something out of an Indiana Jones movie: just got into the ground and everything lay there like it started – the pottery, the weapons, the bronzes, the tombs, just like they were.”
The IAA said the cave had been resealed and protected, while plans for excavation were being developed.
It noted that “some items” had been looted in the short time between discovery and closure.
The discovery marks the latest in a series of recent archaeological discoveries in Israel.
Last month, scientists discovered aIn the deserts of southern Israel, just two months later, a rare unearthed in the same area.
Also in August, archaeologists announced that they had recently unearthedA prehistoric pachyderm near the kibbutz in southern Israel.
At the same time, a recently discovered— found just half a mile from the Israeli border — has sparked excitement among archaeologists.But it also calls for better protection of Gaza’s antiquities, a fragile collection of sites threatened by a lack of awareness and resources, as well as ongoing risks .