Israeli electrician chances upon trove of 4,500-year-old artifacts

September 12, 2019 by TPS
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An Israeli electrician on the way to work in the north chanced upon fascinating and rare archeological findings.

Ahmad and the artifacts. (Nir Distelfeld/IAA)

Ahmad Nassar Yasin, a resident of the village of Arabe in the north and an electrician by profession, passed on a dirt road during the past weekend on his way to a job when he came across the findings.

He noticed something unusual on the side of the mountain and stopped to check what it was. “The rock was crumbling, and antique-looking tools were exposed in front of my eyes,” he recounted.

Nir Distelfeld, from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) Robbery Prevention Unit, met with Ahmed at his home and received the exciting findings, which were transferred to the State Treasury.

The tools appear to have been unearthed by a bulldozer that previously opened an ancient burial cave. The storage jars and pouring tools found at the site are 4,500-year-old, from the Bronze Age, and were inserted into the burial cave along with the dead buried in it, with the aim of accompanying and serving the dead in the afterlife, a known phenomenon from the burial rites during this period.

A copper dagger blade, previously attached to a wooden handle, was also discovered by Ahmed. Distelfeld explained that this is the typical weapon of the period and it was common practice to bury the weapons with its dead owner.

Distelfeld applauded Ahmed’s conduct when he handed over the findings to the IAA and provided him with a certificate of recognition.

Ahmed said that he was told he “was a sucker” for delivering the tools to the state, but “he chose to follow the right and expected path of every law-abiding citizen. Ahmed understood that it was not his private property, but a legacy belonging to the general public, which should reach the professional bodies responsible for antiquities,” Distelfeld said.

In his responsible decision, Ahmed contributed to the “archaeological puzzle of the Land of Israel,” he added.



2 Responses to “Israeli electrician chances upon trove of 4,500-year-old artifacts”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    It is gratifying that an Arab acted in a responsible manner befitting a citizen of Israel. It is also gratifying that ordinary citizens in Israel have an eye for picking up items of archeological interest.

    It is worth noting as well that items discovered all point to ancient peoples or to Hebrew tribes that settled there, demonstrating which people are indigenous to those lands.

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