"Like an Indiana Jones film": Tomb from Pharaonic times discovered in Israel

It is a pure coincidence: archaeologists come across an intact burial chamber in Israel that is around 3,300 years old.

"Like an Indiana Jones film": Tomb from Pharaonic times discovered in Israel

It is a pure coincidence: archaeologists come across an intact burial chamber in Israel that is around 3,300 years old. During construction work, an excavator uncovers the stone-carved complex from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II.

Archaeologists have discovered a burial chamber in Israel from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the spectacular discovery was made during dredging work on the beach at Palmachim, when the shovel suddenly pierced the roof of the burial chamber. Numerous clay vessels and bronze arrowheads and spearheads as well as human bones were found in the grave.

A video released by the Antiquities Authority shows amazed archaeologists illuminating the burial chamber with flashlights. Dozens of clay vessels from the time of Ramses II can be seen. According to the researchers, the cooking utensils, lamps and storage vessels are grave goods for life in the afterlife, which have been lying untouched underground for around 3,300 years.

Archaeologist Eli Yannai from the Antiquities Authority spoke of an "extremely rare" find that researchers only made "once in a lifetime". The burial chamber, sealed until its discovery, may provide "a complete picture of Bronze Age burial rites" in the region.

His colleague David Gelman was reminded of a scene "like something out of an Indiana Jones film": "You go underground and everything lies there untouched - intact clay pots, weapons, bronze vessels, burial places." In addition to Egypt, Ramses II, who died in 1213 BC, also ruled in Canaan, which roughly covered the area of ​​today's Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Yannai told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the chamber apparently served as a family tomb. The bodies buried there are not well preserved, so DNA analyzes are not possible. However, one can assume that they were local coastal residents. Shortly after the discovery of the intact burial chamber, several artifacts were stolen, according to the Antiquities Authority. In the meantime, it has been sealed again and investigations into the robbery are ongoing.

(This article was first published on Monday, September 19, 2022.)

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