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Ancient jewelry found at Israel site

May 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM   |   Comments

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 21 (UPI) -- A gold earring in a collection of ancient jewelry unearthed in northern Israel suggests the hoard could have Egyptian origins, archaeologists say.

The gold and silver jewelry was hidden inside a vessel found in the Jezreel Valley and dated to around 1100 B.C., Tel Aviv University reported Monday.

At least some of the pieces could have originated in nearby Egypt,

Tel Aviv researcher Eran Arie said, as some of the materials and designs are consistent with Egyptian designs from the same period.

The vessel, found in the remains of a private home in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Tel Megiddo, was probably not the jewelry's normal storage place, researchers said.

"It's clear that people tried to hide the collection, and for some reason they were unable to come back to pick it up," David Ussishkin said

The find was dated to just after the end of Egyptian rule in the 12th century B.C., Arie said, suggest either the jewelry was left behind in the Egyptian withdrawal or the people who owned the jewelry were influenced by Egyptian culture.

A connection with Israel would not be surprising, archaeologists said, because interactions between Egypt and Megiddo are known to have taken place during both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

The gold earring decorated with molded ibexes, or wild goats, is the most interesting piece, they said.

"For unique items, we work to find parallels to help place the items in their correct cultural and chronological settings, but in this case we still haven't found anything," they said.

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