Israeli boy finds fertility goddess

Israeli boy finds fertility goddess

What’s a nice 8-year-old Jewish boy doing holding the head of an ancient fertility goddess?

Would you believe, playing a real-life game of Indiana Jones?

Itai Halperin of the central Israeli town of Pardesiya was not digging for relics when he came across the ancient head, which proved to belong to a stone fertility goddess. He simply was out for a nature walk with his family near Tel Beit Shemesh.

03-3-A-V-boyarcheologist-findBecause Itai did the right thing and turned over his find to archaeologist Alexander Glick of the Israel Antiquities Authority, he and his class now will have the privilege of participating in a real dig and touring the IAA archive. He also got a certificate of honor for good citizenship.

Itai told Glick that he had recently watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the first in the Indiana Jones film series about a swashbuckling archaeologist hunting ancient treasure, and that he hopes to be an archaeologist when he grows up.

Alon de Groot, an IAA expert on the Iron Age, identified the find and dated it to the Iron Age, roughly corresponding to the First Temple period in ancient Israel, from the 10th to sixth centuries BCE.

“Figurines of this kind, depicting naked women symbolizing fertility, were common in the homes of residents of the kingdom of Judah from the eighth century BCE until the destruction of the kingdom by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, during the time of Zedekiah,” he said.

The ceramic statuette head helps the IAA determine the borders of the area controlled by the kingdom of Judah, de Groot added.

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