A six-year-old boy has discovered a rare artefact while on an outing with his parents to tour the Tel Jemmeh archaeological site in South Israel.
Curiosity prompted Imri Eyla to pick up the small square clay object that caught his eye – little did he know, that he had a 3,500-year-old treasure in his hands.
The boys' parents contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority, and after analysing the clay tablet, archaeologists believe it is the first discovery of its kind in Israel.
"The tablet depicts the scene of a man leading a captive," archaeologists Saar Ganor, Itamar Weissbein and Oren Shmueli of the Israel Antiquities Authority said.
"It is evident that the artist sought to emphasize the captive's humiliation by showing him naked, or perhaps to describe the ethnic differences between the captor and the captive by presenting each figure's different facial features.
"The captor's hair is curly, and his face is full, while the captive is thin and his face elongated."
Researchers estimate that the artefact is dated in the Late Bronze Age, between the 12th and 15th centuries BCE.
The image on the clay tablet draws parallels to Egyptian and Canaanite art, leading experts to believe that it was created in the ancient Canaanite civilisation, ruled by the Egyptian Empire.
"The violence portrayed raises interesting questions about the historical background of the tablet," the Israel Antiquities Authority said.
The land of Canaan was made up of "city-states" ruled by local kings, each riven with conflict between each other.
Researchers believe that the scene depicted on the tablet symbolically describes the power struggles between the city of Yurza (now Tel Jemmeh) and one of its neighbours.
The six-year-old was awarded with a certificate of good citizenship from the Israel Antiquities Authority for handing in the artefact.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/curious-boy-discovers-3500yearold-artefact-in-israel/987ce346-fe78-437d-8bc4-08ea34dc22f9