Scientists Unearth Irish-made Jewelry in Zion Excavations
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Scientists Unearth Irish-made Jewelry in Zion Excavations

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Interesting results produced by scientists excavating in the Palestine area are recorded by Professor Flinders Petrie in an article in the London Times, in which he deplores the fact that the objects unearthed, including more than 500 scarabs of Canaanite manufacture, cannot be brought to England for exhibition purposes. Permission to remove them from Palestine has not been granted by the authorities, Professor Petrie declares.

Among the noteworthy discoveries made by archaeologists, the scientist reveals, is jewelry that has all the earmarks of having been wrought by Irish goldsmiths.

“This season of excavation at Ancient Gaza has provided much,” he writes, “in historical results and in a wealth of objects.

“The chief area cleared was about four acres along the river side, and over 200 haematite weights testified to the trading activities of the port. The fashion for Egyptian things produced over 500 scarabs of Canaanite manufacture, nearly all cut in ignorance of the meaning of the hieroglyphs copied.


“More painted pottery of foreign origin has been found, some in fine condition. The sources of this are still unknown. Among the many bronze daggers there is one with close high ribbing along it, as in the Caucasus type. The Eastern connection set a fashion of haematite cylinders, engraved with divine figures. One of minutely detailed work represents a god restraining a fierce lion about to attack a man prone on the ground, while behind him to support him is a winged Horus wearing the crown of Egypt. It would seem a political group, symbolizing a helpless Palestine protected by Egypt while attacked from the Hittite side.

“The campaign has been marked by a large number of separate discoveries of gold ornaments, both from burials and from goldsmiths’ hoards of scrap metal for melting down. Much of it is not Palestinian, but from foreign sources, and the identification of origin must await comparisons.

“A group from the burial of a little girl is reminiscent of Egypt. The weights of the goldwork are on the Egyptian standard, and there are pendants of the hippopotamus and of Horus. On the neck was a gold wire, wound with finer wire round it; for the head, there was a fillet of golden hemispheres and rosettes.


“The prominence of Irish goldsmiths’ workmanship is again obvious. Ear-rings of twisted flanges are of the most brilliant quality, and unmistakable; therefore we may the more readily see Irish types in some other gold rings which are not familiar elsewhere. On the other hand, another large dagger of Persian work from Luristan shows the Eastern trade. This trade is emphasized by an abundance of Persian weights, actually half as many as those of Egyptian origin nearer at hand.

“The most considerable building we unearthed was of middle Hyksos age, and had long courses of stone under the brick walls. The plan might be that of a temple. A great stone-lined well adjoined this, but was certainly older. It probably belonged, like the earliest of the palaces here, to the first Canaanite period.

“The activities of the coming season will be spent on such researches as will elucidate the problems raised by the discovery of so many new connections of civilizations. Though we have more to show than usual, we shall not be able to hold our annual exhibition, already widely announced. No permission has been granted to bring away any objects from Palestine. Owing to the claims and prohibitions in that country, it is denied the public here to participate in the discoveries which they have promoted. We continue to need their help, nevertheless, so that the fruitful prospects already in view may be followed up and yield still further results.”

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