The extraordinary discovery of a burial cave from the time of Ramses 2 in Israel

The extraordinary discovery of a burial cave from the time of Ramses 2 in Israel

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Like in the movieIndiana JonesIsraeli archaeologists announced on Sunday a unique and fortunate discovery on the beach of the Palmahim National Park. It was an excavator strike that revealed the existence of a 3,300-year-old burial cave from the time of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II, filled with dozens of pieces of pottery and bronze artifacts. It will provide valuable information about the burial customs of this period of history.

Ramses II, or Ramses the Great, was the pharaoh of Egypt’s Golden Age. His prosperity can be measured by the number of constructions he carried out, one of the most famous of which is certainly Abu Simbel in Nubia with its four imposing statues of the ruler. He also erected many colossi at Luxor to represent him. His reign is one of the longest in Egypt, 66 years.

Reign of Ramses II represents the last peak of Egyptian imperial power. After his death, Egypt was able to maintain its sovereignty over Palestine and adjacent territories until the end of the 20th Dynasty, when the Sea Nations ended Egypt’s power beyond its borders.

Recently, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) revealed that a cave from this period was discovered on a popular beach in central Israel south of Tel Aviv when its roof was hit by a mechanical excavator working in Palmahim National Park. After reaching it with the help of a ladder, the archaeologists literally went back in time, face to face with the treasures locked in the cave, untouched for thousands of years.

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Scientists were amazed and fascinated by this discovery. They were the first to enter it since its closure 3300 years ago. It is a unique discovery during the archaeologist’s lifetime. The cave is carved in the shape of a square and there was a pillar in the middle of its ceiling.

in video published by the Israel Antiquities Authority, archaeologists shine flashlights on dozens of ceramic vessels of various shapes and sizes that date back to the reign of an ancient Egyptian king who died in 1213 BC. J.-C.

IAA archaeologist David Gelman explains the va communicated for AFP: Burial caves are rare as they are, and finding a cave that hasn’t been touched since it was first used 3,300 years ago is something you rarely find. “. He adds : ” It looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie: just enter the ground and everything is there as it was – intact pottery, weapons, bronze vessels, burials as they were “.

Carefully arranged ceramic and bronze objects were identified in the cave, including bowls, some painted red, others containing bones, chalices (broad-based chalices), cooking pots, jugs, lamps, and bronze arrowheads or spearheads.

In addition, the corner of the cave contained two rectangular plots, inside which experts discovered at least one relatively intact skeleton and other bones. In fact, the objects would have been funeral offerings to accompany the deceased on their final journey to the afterlife, as was the custom at the time.

Dozens of pottery samples were found in the cave. Some of them were imported from Syria, Cyprus and Lebanon in ancient times. © AFP/IAA

Archaeologists also hypothesize that they would be warriors buried here due to the presence of weapons at their sides – whole arrows whose orientation suggests they were in a quiver – or guards on ships, given the large commercial effervescence. region at the time.

Discovery analyzed by modern techniques

From their first conclusion, the archaeologists believe that the cave dates back to the reign of Ramesses II, as mentioned earlier, who ruled Canaan, the area roughly comprising modern Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The origin of the ceramic vessels – Cyprus, Lebanon, northern Syria, Gaza and Jaffa – testifies to the bustling commercial activity that took place along the coast “, the archaeologists emphasize.

Eli Yannai, IAA Bronze Age expert, says: The cave can provide a complete picture of Late Bronze Age burial customs “. The state of the cave will allow using modern scientific methods to detect residues on pottery and other artifacts, such as organic remains that are not visible to the naked eye.

discovery of the cave beach
The cave was discovered on the beach when a mechanical shovel hit its roof, with archaeologists using a ladder to descend into the spacious square cave. © AFP/IAA

The cave has been resealed and is under surveillance while a plan to uncover it is being prepared along with a conservation program. However, ” some objects they were looted in the short time between its discovery and its closure due to a rumor that quickly spread. These thefts are currently under investigation.

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