Friday, April 11, 2014

Sculpted Face Peers Out from Ancient Coffin Found in Israel

Coffin lid from Jezreel Valley 

A 3,300-year-old sculpted coffin lid from Israel's Jezreel Valley.

 A newly discovered coffin that dates back 3,300 years likely belonged to a wealthy elite, perhaps an Egyptian army officer, archaeologists have announced.

The grave site, uncovered in Israel, was filled with food storage vessels, animal bones and tableware, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported today (April 9). A clay coffin with a lid sculpted to look like a person contained an adult skeleton surrounded by hammered pieces of bronze, as well as a bronze dagger and bowl. The skeleton was also buried with a gold ring bearing the name of Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled from around 1290 B.C. to 1279 B.C.

"Since the vessels interred with the individual were produced locally, we assume the deceased was an official of Canaanite origin who was engaged in the service of the Egyptian government," the IAA archaeologists reported. Canaan is an ancient region that roughly encompassed modern-day Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. [See Images of the Coffin and Artifacts]

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