Archaeologists working in Israel made a golden discovery when they unearthed a cache of jewelry at Tel Megiddo.
Tel Megiddo is a very ancient city – thousands of years old – and an important archaeological site. In fact, the city has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times that it has at least 11 distinct levels of archeological strata that have been studied to piece together the history of the area. As such, finding artifacts at Tel Megiddo is not normally a big deal. This golden jewelry, however, is another matter.
The jewelry was found inside a jug that was unearthed back in 2010. But, the jewelry itself was not found until the jug was cleaned earlier this year (again, there are a lot of artifacts from Tel Megiddo). Judging from the strata where the jug was found, the jewelry is estimated to be more than 3,000 years old.
Evidence suggests that the jug was not the typical storage vessel for the jewelry, so archaeologists theorize that the jewelry was hidden there during one of Tel Megiddo’s razing periods. The cache contains many gold pieces that are of styles and designs which were typical of the time. However, archeologists are buzzing about one particular gold earring that is unlike any others from the area.
The design features molded ibexes (a type of wild goat) and a bright yellow color, suggesting that it may be pure gold. The design suggests that the piece may be all the way from Egypt, but an assay will make the final determination. Ancient Egypt had an abundance of gold, but not many other metals. This made mixed alloys rare; so many pieces of jewelry were pure gold. If other metals are found in the earring, it will indicate that the earring was made by local (and very talented) jewelers.