Facebook users solve mystery of ‘antique’ artifact

Facebook users solve mystery of ‘antique’ artifact

What was the golden object discovered in a Jerusalem cemetery?

It was an archaeologist’s dream — and nightmare.

Six months ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority was presented with a mysterious gilded object from an old Jerusalem cemetery.

They had absolutely no idea what it was.

Archaeologists and historians looking into this strange golden scepter couldn’t date it. And then someone at the authority decided to post a photo of the spiral object on Facebook and ask for help. It took a few hours for the riddle to be solved.

“Congratulations to Micah Barak of Italy and to all those who took part in helping to solve the mystery of the object from the Jerusalem cemetery,” the Israel Antiquities Authority posted on its Facebook page.

“Several hours after the story’s publication, Micah Barak identified the object as a device that is supposed to provide ‘energetic protection’ and is designed for use by naturopaths and those involved in New Age energy healing. The object, manufactured by a German company, is called an Isis Beamer, named after the Egyptian goddess Isis, who according to Egyptian mythology was the goddess of healing, magic and nature.”

The authority said hundreds of responses poured in. Among the less helpful were suggestions that the item could be a cattle insemination instrument, an implement for rolling dough, a piece of industrial machinery, a massager, or a cultic object used in the Temple.

And while the mysterious object has been identified, the Israel Antiquities Authority is still stumped about why it was buried in the old cemetery. They posted another Facebook message to find the answer:

“We hope that those responsible for hiding the object in the cemetery will contact us, tell us why it was buried in the ancient structure and to whom amongst the dead and buried they wanted to give positive energy.”


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