3,300 Year Old Burial Cave Discovered In In Eretz Yisroel

Don’t miss an extremely rare opportunity to take a look into what looks like an ‘Indiana Jones’ film set- a cave floor laid out with vessels untouched for 3,300 years, since the Late Bronze Age, about the time of the powerful King Rameses II, that was revealed in the Palmachim Beach National Park!

An exceptional and amazing discovery from the time of the Pharaoh associated with the Biblical Exodus from Egypt, was revealed last Wednesday when a mechanical digger penetrated the roof of a cave in the Palmahim Beach National Park, in the course of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority development works. Dror Sitron, Israel Antiquities Authority inspector, was the first to discover the cave.

The Israel Antiquity Authority archaeologists mobilized to the site, descended a ladder into the astonishing space that appeared to have frozen in time. The hewn cave was square in form with a central supporting pillar. Several dozens of intact pottery and bronze artifacts were lain out in the cave, exactly as they were arranged in the burial ceremony, about 3,300 years ago. These vessels were burial offerings that accompanied the deceased in the belief that they would serve the dead in the afterlife.

According to Dr. Eli Yannai, Israel Antiquities Authority Bronze Age expert, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery! A cave floor laid out with vessels untouched for 3,300 years, since the Late Bronze Age, about the time of the powerful King Rameses II. The fact that the cave was sealed, and not looted in later periods, will allow us the employ the modern scientific methods available today, to retrieve much information from the artifacts and from the residues extant on the vessels, for example, organic remains that are not visible to the naked eye. The cave may furnish a complete picture of the Late Bronze Age funerary customs.”

The cave predominantly included pottery vessels, such as deep and shallow bowls, some red-painted, footed chalices and storage jars, some imported from the Lebanese coast. Additional smaller vessels, mainly jugs and juglets, used to store and trade smaller quantities of expensive commodities, were imported from Tyre, Sidon, and other ports along the coast of Lebanon and Israel, whilst dome⁸ pottery vessels came from Cyprus.

“The finds in the cave date to the thirteenth century BCE (Late Bronze Age IIB)” says Dr. Yannai. “In this period, in the long reign of the Nineteenth Egyptian Dynasty Pharaoh Rameses II, the Egyptian Empire controlled Canaan, and the Egyptian administration provided secure conditions for extensive international trade”.

According to Eli Eskosido, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Raya Shurky, the Director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, “The discovery in the Palmahim National Park is unique and absolutely astonishing! The news of the discovery of the cave spread like wildfire in the academic world, and we have already received requests from many scholars to take part in the planned archaeological excavation. Unfortunately, despite the guard set up, a few items were looted from the cave before it was sealed up, an issue that is now under investigation. Within a few days, we will formulate a plan to carry out the research and the protection of this unique site, which is a feast for the archaeological world and for the ancient history of the land of Israel.”

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