Monday, January 25, 2010

In the field: Evidence for Relations with Egypt’s First Dynasty at Tel Bet Yerah

Archaeology Excavation Blog

A fragment of a carved stone plaque bearing archaic Egyptian signs was the highlight of the second season of excavations at Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak). The site lies in northern Israel, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, along an ancient highway which connected Egypt to the wider world of the ancient Near East. Work was completed there last week by a joint team from Tel Aviv University and University College London.

Excavation director Raphael Greenberg of Tel Aviv and David Wengrow, who headed the UCL contingent, noted that the four cm long fragment was the first artifact of its type ever found in an archaeological context outside Egypt. It depicts an arm and hand grasping a scepter and an early form of the ‘ankh sign, and can be attributed to the period of Egypt’s First Dynasty, at around 3000 BCE or shortly after.

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