Thursday, April 19, 2012

Egyptian Scarab Discovered in City of David

A unique discovery in Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago was surprisingly carried by only one news source—Israel Hayom. Joseph Lauer saw the report and passed it on.

An Egyptian scarab, dating back to the 13th century B.C.E. (the era when some scholars speculate the Exodus may have occurred) was uncovered on Thursday at an excavation sponsored by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the City of David National Park.

The seal is about a centimeter and a half in length and was used to stamp documents.

It bears the name, in Egyptian hieroglyphic writing, of the sun god Amon-Ra, one of Egypt's most important deities. It is made of soft gray stone and also bears the imprint of a duck, which was apparently one of the sun god's symbols.

[...]

"This is the first time we've found a scarab of this kind in the City of David," said archaeologist Eli Shukrun, who is directing the dig along with Dr. Joe Uziel.

The full story, with a photo, is here. I wonder why the Israel Antiquities Authority didn’t report this. Perhaps they had already prepared their Passover story (the recovery of Egyptian coffins) and didn’t want to save it for next year. I’m curious too where they discovered the scarab. I’ll be in the City of David next week and post what I learn.

UPDATE: Aren Maeir has corrected me in the comments below. This is not the first Egyptian scarab found in the City of David. I misread Shukrun’s quote: it’s the first scarab of this kind that he has found in the City of David. The post above has been changed accordingly. My apologies for the error.

City of David sign, tb051908123

Sign at entrance to City of David National Park

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