Almost espousing a metaphorical connection between humanity’s future and the past, a 7-year old boy named Ori Greenhut discovered an ancient artifact in Israel. The young kid was apparently hiking up the Tel Rehov archaeological mound when a big stone caught his attention. And on some closer viewing, Ori was able to discern a face carved in antiquity. Astonished by this ‘tryst’, the boy and his friends further investigated the scene, and found a glorious female figurine that was later analysed to be over 3,400 years old. In fact, the experts are struck by the figurine’s familiarity (depicting a nude woman) with the similar sculptures of the Canaanite culture that thrived between the period of 15th to 13th century BC.
As for the portrayal itself, the researchers are still debating about the female subject. According to some, the palm-sized figurine represents an actual ‘flesh and blood’ female from the contemporary period. However conventional notion would suggest that the figure depicts the fertility goddess Astarte, known from both Canaanite and Biblical sources. Amihai Mazar, professor emeritus at Hebrew University, and the project director at the Tel Rehov site, said –
It is highly likely that the term trafim mentioned in the Bible indeed refers to figurines of this kind. Evidently the figurine belonged to one of the residents of the city of Rehov, which was then ruled by the central government of the Egyptian pharaohs.
In any case, the researchers can probably find more about the origins of this impressive depiction on further assessment. As for the fascinating discovery itself, Ori deserves all the applaud, given his civic sense in actually presenting the artifact to Israel Antiquities Authority. Deservedly, the boy was given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship. As Ori’s mother Moriya Greenhut, said –
Ori returned home with the impressive figurine and the excitement was great. We explained to him this is an ancient artifact and that archaeological finds belong to the State.
Source / Images Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority