3,4000 year old Egyptian artifact uncovered in Israel on display in Jerusalem.
A 3,400-year-old inscribed Egyptian anchor uncovered in Israel is on display for the first time at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in the exhibition Emoglyphs: Picture-Writing from Hieroglyphs to the Emoji.
As reported by Haaretz, the artifact was spotted by chance by an Israeli veterinarian swimming off the shores of Atlit, south of Haifa.
“I saw it, kept on swimming for a few meters, then realized what I had seen and dived to touch it,” Rafi Bahalul told Haaretz. “It was like entering an Egyptian temple at the
bottom of the Mediterranean.”
Recovered in January last year, the artifact features images and decorations, as well as hieroglyphs.
Jacob Sharvit, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority maritime archaeology unit, which was contacted by Bahalul after the discovery, explained that the site was already known to the archaeologists and other objects were previously found in the same premises.
“Sometimes the sea does our job for us, and fortunately a member of the public saw it and alerted us,” he said.
The artifact presents the typical trapezoidal shape that was common for anchors in the Bronze Age, with a hole at the top and rounded corners
However, the stone was originally made from part of a decorative relief of some important building in Egypt, possibly a temple or royal palace. As stone was a valuable material, the so-called secondary use was common.
Among the ornaments, the stone features a portrait of Seshat, the goddess of writing.
Hieroglyphs, the ancient Egyptian script, were first deciphered in the first half of the 19th century, prompting a widespread fascination with ancient Egyptian culture all over the Western world, as Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, curator of the exhibition at the Israel Museum, explained in the catalog.
Emoglyphs will be open until October.
By : ROSSELLA TERCATIN for JPOST.com