Perhaps one of 2015’s most significant biblical archaeological finds was made by an eight year old Israeli boy on a trip with his family to the Beit Shemesh area (1) (2). Having investigated this the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) believes that an important archaeological discovery has been made. They awarded Halpern with a certificate of honour. After hiking with his family he came upon a circular object laying on the ground that was made of ceramic and appeared to be the head of a sculpture. It was also found to be nearly 3000 years old (3).
Archaeologist Alon de Groot & the Significance of the Find.
Alon de Groot, an IAA expert on the Iron Age, identified the find as the head of a sculpture of a fertility goddess. De Groot explains that “Figurines of this kind, depicting naked women which symbolize fertility, were common in the homes of residents of the Kingdom of Judah from the eighth century BCE until the destruction of the Kingdom by the Babylonians in the days of Zedekiah (586 BCE).” He further notes the significance, explaining that “these figurines serve in our research as a marker for the area controlled by the Kingdom of Judah” in the Old Testament. Likewise archaeologist Ana Irich said that the area of Beit Shemesh where the figurine was discovered was a known residential area in the First Temple period. Irich explains that “In the First Temple period their was a big city in the area, which was a commercial and industrial center. The city was surrounded by a wall that held within it many residential structures, as well as public structures that have been uncovered – warehouses and an impressive waterworks.”
The discovery of the artifact near a residential district from the First Temple period (960-586 B.C.) reinforces the identification of the Beit Shemesh site as having been under the control of the Kingdom of Judah at the time.
1. The Times of Israel. 2015. 8-year-old stumbles on First Temple-era archaeological find. Available.
2. Jerusalem Post. 2015. 8-year-old ‘Indiana Jones’ makes First Temple era archaeological find in Beit Shemesh. Available.
3. Klein, C. 2015. 8-Year-Old Aspiring Indiana Jones Finds Ancient Artifact. Available.