Rare ancient fertility amulet found by 11-year-old boy in Israel

CREDIT: Israel Antiquities Authority

AN 11-year-old boy has found a 2,500-year-old fertility charm in Israel.

The young boy, named as Zvi Ben-David was on a trip with his family to the Nahal Besor area when he saw a rate object and picked it up the local press reports.

Zvi’s mother Miriam is a professional tour guide and quickly realised how important his find was, so the family took the ceramic figure of a woman to the Israel Antiquities Authority. It is being studied by the National Treasures department.

It is seven centimetres high and six centimetres wide and probably made during the 5th or 6th century BC, towards the end of the late First Temple period of Judaism.

The ancient amulet depicts a bare-chested woman with a scarf covering her head and neck, with a prominent nose and her hands folded under her breasts.

The figure is so unusual that there is only one such example in the National Treasures collection. It was apparently intended to promote fertility or protect children.

Archaeologists explained that such figures were common in Israel in different periods and were used for good luck and protection.

They congratulated the boy on his find which will help to improve the understanding of the country’s past.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.