Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

3,300-Year-Old Silver Earrings Discovered in Israel

A jug which contained five sets of earrings, still intact, were found in the biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah, near the Lebanon border

By: Daniel Koren

Published: February 25th, 2014 in News » World

Israeli archaeologists have discovered an earthenware jug in the biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah, just south of the border with Israel. Inside the jug were five pairs of silver earrings, still intact.

Archaeologists estimate that the earrings are 3,300 year old.

The biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah was an Iron Age town part of t he Israelite kingdom. According to the Book of Kings, the town was conquered by Ben-hadad I of Damascus in the early 9th century BCE, and later by King Tiglath-pileser III in 733 BCE, reports Times of Israel.

During the Bronze Age, the city was presumably ruled by the Canaanites.

Archaeologists from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and Azusa Pacific University made the find during excavations of the site during summer 2013, after locating an extraordinarily large stone structure, that was “possibly a tower that was part of a fortification.”

Near the base of said structure, the team also found a few jugs, one of which “contained a silver hoard composed of earrings and ingots.” Based on the pottery they discovered alongside the jug, the team of archaeologists were able to decipher that the jug came from the late Bronze Age, or early Iron age, associated with the uprising of the Israelites, and approximately 3,300 years ago.

According to Dr. Robert Mullins, of Azusa Pacific, the earrings could have belonged to either men or women.

Made entirely of silver, and predating any formal currency known to man by approximately a thousand years, the silver could be viewed as equivalent to one’s life savings at the time. “Before coins were invented in the 5th century BCE, people would weigh out bits of silver on pan scales against known weights, such as the famous shekel of the Bible,” Mullins said to the Times of Israel. “These pieces were evidently placed into a jug whose neck was missing, probably for safekeeping, though we have no proof that the jug and its contents were hidden below a floor.”

More excavations in the biblical city are expected to take place this summer, with archaeologists believing that there are plenty more artifacts such as the earrings to be located.

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