Mon, Apr 15, 2013
Discovered near the Sea of Galilee, the incised artifacts may be related to remains at an ancient necropolis.
First discovered during a survey two years
ago, disk-shaped copper plates found by archaeologists near the ancient
site of Hippos-Sussita just east of the Sea of Galilee continue to
involved in the ongoing excavations at the site are reaching out to
scholars and the public alike to help them find the answer to the
"They were found in the
Hippos necropolis during several surveys", says Israeli archaeologist
Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the
University of Haifa, Israel. He directs the Hippos Excavation Project,
which has uncovered remarkably well-preserved monumental remains and
artifacts at this ancient mountaintop Greco-Roman city, a site that
overlooks the Sea of Galilee. "None were found during excavation, but
all were found very near to robbed and open graves. It was Dr. Alexander
Iermolin, conservator from the institute of Haifa, who first found the
pieces during a metal detector survey. They were totally ignored even by
us as at first glance they look rather modern."
disk-shaped plates (see image of examples below), about 20 cm in
diameter and found at the necropolis hill located 300 m south of
Hippos, feature what appear to be incisions in a decorative pattern on
what has been interpreted as their inner sides, with clear marks of
nails and a h*** in the middle of each.
As the necropolis has not yet been
systematically excavated, the age and specific context of the plates
could not be determined. Eisenberg states that the age of the necropolis
may likely fall within the broad Hellenistic-Byzantine time range, as
does the nearby Hippos-Sussita polis, which has been extensively
excavated. But they were found outside of graves, not inside, so it is
difficult to determine the provenance as they could not be associated
with surrounding artifacts and human remains within the internments.
suspects that they were first exposed as a result of looting. "The
plates seemed to have been thrown out of the graves by ancient robbers".
may not be the only extant examples. "One similar plate was located
recently in the Israeli treasury department, but without any context",
remains. And the telltale nail marks could be a clue. Asks Eisenberg for
anyone willing to repond: "Has anyone encountered such plates and if
so, do you know if they were set on wooden coffins?"
Thanks to: http://one-vibration.com