Recent excavations in northern Israel uncovered more than a hundred 3,500-year-old intact religious artifacts and other items. Led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, workers made the discovery in a natural hollow in the bedrock at Tel Qashish near Yokneam.
Among the discovered items is a religious vessel used for burning incense, a sculpted face of a woman that was broken apart from a cup, goblets and bowls with high bases, and tableware. A cache of the artifacts, such as a storage container for precious oils, was believed to have been brought from Mycenae, supporting evidence of the ancient trade relations with Greece.
“In this period, before the Bible, the children of Israel were still in Egypt or the desert, and it would appear that the vessels were used in a pagan cult that worshiped idols,” says Dr. Edwin van den Brink of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “During this period, it was customary that each city had a temple of its own where special religious vessels were used.”
The Israel Antiquities Authority will present these artifacts to the public in a special exhibition commemorating the 20th anniversary of its establishment later this year.
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