Archaeologists discovered a cave in Israel that they estimated has been sealed for approximately 3,300 years, describing what they found as “exceptional.” The cave is filled with artifacts and may have been used for human burial around the time of Ramesses II.
Construction workers stumbled on the cave when they accidentally penetrated the roof while digging just a few feet away from a beach in the southern area of Tel Aviv, according to LiveScience. When an archeological team with the Israel Antiquities Authority were sent in, they found it had “appeared to have frozen in time,” finding bronzed goods and ceramics that are typically associated with burial ceremonies.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” archaeologist Eli Yannai said in a statement. “It is extremely rare to come across an ‘Indiana Jones film set’ — a cave floor laid out with vessels untouched for 3,300 years, since the Late Bronze Age, about the time of the powerful King Rameses II.”
This places it during the time when Ramesses II controlled an empire stretching from Syria to Sudan, including the area now known as Israel. The IAA’s Uzi Rothschild told the Times of Israel that the discovery is “simply amazing.”
Footage of the cave was shared by the IAA on their YouTube channel Sunday, revealing the almost perfectly preserved ceramics, including chalices, deep and shallow bowls, pots used for cooking or storage, and lamps. Yannai added that the materials likely came from Lebanon, Syria, and Cyprus.
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