Archeology News in July 2011

After staying hidden for 2,000 years, a tiny golden bell was uncovered from an ancient sewer located beneath the Old City of Jerusalem. In this article, you will also learn about new theories emerging about ancient Egyptian weapons.

Ancient Bell Found in Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists unveiled the tiny golden bell this month, which was described as a rare discovery. Measuring one centimeter in diameter, the orb had a small loop that seemed to have been used to sew the ornament onto clothing. It is thought to have belonged to the wardrobe of a wealthy individual that lived in the city thousands of years ago.

After shaking the small trinket, a faint metallic sound was heard , described as being “something between a clink and a rattle.” The owner of the bell was probably walking down the street and it somehow fell from the garment and found its way to the drainage channel. Finding such an artifact that dates back to the Second Temple period (which lasted between about 515 BC and 70 AD) is highly unheard of. The bell is the only one of its kind to have been located in Jerusalem.

Could the bell have once adorned the robe of a temple priest? In the Book of Exodus (from the Bible), there is a reference to “tiny golden bells sewn onto the hem of the robes of Temple priests.” The bells served as decoration alongside decorative pomegranates. Artisans would use pure gold to make the bells, which were attached between the pomegranates around the hem of the robe. No one is for sure if this bell was once a part of a priestly garment.

The bell’s location was found inside the Old City walls, which is just a couple of steps from the site of the Jewish Temples. The Temples served as a sacred compound for the Jews.

A Look at Ancient Egyptian Weapons

The elaborately decorated daggers, swords, axes and other weapons were once thought to predominately play a role in rituals and never saw action on the battlefield. However, new evidence has been revealed this month that suggests that such weapons were carried by elite members of ancient Egypt society, including the pharaoh. Artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age (about 5,000 to 3,000 years ago) are now being looked at in a different way.

Pivotal during a time where the civilization was at its peak, the true use of the weapons may contradict the vast amount of literature that states otherwise. However, there are still some that believe that the weapons could have been used to sacrifice animals.

The conclusions come after the analysis of 125 Bronze Age weapons from Egypt, including daggers, swords, arrowheads, axes and spears. Reports on 350 additional weapons dating back to the same period were also taken into account.