Photo: Emil Aladjem + Israel Antiquities Authority + Israel Antiquities Authority/Facebook

First-Grader Discovers 3,500-Year-Old Artifact in Israeli Desert

News Archaeology
by Eben Diskin May 28, 2020

You might think that only professional archaeologists are capable of making significant historical discoveries, but this six-year-old boy proved otherwise. During a hiking trip with his parents to the Tel Jemmeh archaeological site in Israel’s Negev Desert last March, Elya picked up a small clay object with an engraving. The first-grader showed the discovery to his parents, who then contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The object turned out to be a rare and unique 3,500-year-old object — a 1.1 inch by 1.1 inch tablet dating back to the Canaanite civilization.

Photo: Emil Aladjem + Israel Antiquities Authority/Facebook

IAA archeologists believe that the tablet depicts a man leading and humiliating a captive. The captive is emaciated, naked, and his hands are tied behind his back while the captor is healthy and clothed. Experts also noticed the ethnic differences between the two figures — the prisoner is Canaatie, and his captor is Egyptian. The clay impression is thought to be a souvenir of victory of the Egyptian Empire against Canaan, like an honor badge or medal.

For his discovery, Elya received a certificate of good citizenship from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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