3,500 Year-Old Artifacts Unearthed in Israel

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Israeli archaeologists have discovered a cache of ancient items near a town believed by some scholars to have belonged to the tribe of Asher.

The rare and perfectly preserved set of cups and other items were unearthed in northern Israel by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday.

"This is my 42nd excavation in 15 years and the first time I've found more than shards," said Dr. Edwin van den Brink, the IAA archaeologist who directed the excavation.

The items were found inside of a cave in Yokneam while workers were installing a gas pipeline.

The IAA has estimated the 100 items to be more than 3,500 years old and believe the objects were used by a pagan cult in ancient ceremonies.

"The most outstanding or the most expressive, which gives a face to the whole assemblage actually, is a human pottery face of a person," Van den Brink said of one of the artifacts. "We don't know if it's a he or a she. Everybody who takes a look at it has a different opinion."

"Also, our work in the field - the excavation work - has finished now," he added. "But actually now our real work starts to do the research about what we excavated."

Archaeologists say that some of the artifacts may have even come from Greece. The IAA will be placing the artifacts on exhibit in the coming year.

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