Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Rainstorms in Israel have uncovered relics scientists believe are about 2,800 years old, officials said.
The rain uncovered two horse figurines, which were subsequently found by a family hiking in the Kfar Ruppin area.
Mother Ayelet Goldberg-Keidar said she immediately knew what she'd found, because she's an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority. The horse dates back to the Iron Age.
"We were very excited. It's a fascinating find and spectacularly beautiful," Goldberg-Keidar said. "I immediately recognized it was an ancient figurine from the Iron Age -- the period of the Kingdom of Israel."
Goldberg-Keidar and her two daughters were looking for mushrooms when they found the horses.
Another figurine was discovered by another hiker recently near Tel Akko. That horse from the Hellenistic period has a harness and mane and is about 2,200 years old.
Both finds were likely unearthed by heavy rains, experts said. Animals might have also helped by digging and burrowing around them.
IAA inspector Nir Distelfeld encouraged the public to report ancient artifacts to "help put together the pieces of our historical puzzle."
Horses were featured prominently in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and the war of Barak and Devora against Sisera. Anyone who owned a horse was considered to have a higher social status.