Family returns 3,500-year-old metal relics illegally inherited by father to IAA

Antiquities imported to Israel from Syria during Middle Bronze Age.

August 23, 2016 15:50
1 minute read.
The ancient finds retrieved from the coast of Hadera and turned over to the Israel Antiquities Autho

The ancient finds retrieved from the coast of Hadera and turned over to the Israel Antiquities Authority.. (photo credit: COURTESY OF DIEGO BARKAN - ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)

A well-intentioned gift of rare 3,500-year-old metal relics bequeathed by a recently deceased father was returned to the Israel Antiquities Authority this week by his equally well-intentioned children, upon realizing the bounty is property of the State.

On Tuesday, the IAA said the Mazliah family, of Givatayim, east of Tel Aviv, contacted a representative of the Authority to invite him to their home to examine metal artifacts that belonged to their late father, Marcel Mazliah.

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“The family explained that their father, who was employed at the Hadera power station since its construction, retrieved many items from the sea while working there, which, according to the family, are quite ancient,” the IAA said in a statement.

“The representatives of the Israel Antiquities Authority were surprised by what they found: metal objects, most of which are decorated, that apparently fell overboard from a metal merchant’s ship in the Early Islamic period.”

According to IAA curator Ayala Lester, several invaluable relics were found by the late father, including a hand grenade that was common in Israel during the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.

“The finds include a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze Age, from more than 3,500 years ago,” said Lester.
“The other items, among them, two mortars and two pestles, fragments of candlesticks, etc., date to the Fatimid period [11th century CE]. The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel. The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period.”

In the coming days, the authority said the Mazliah family will receive a certificate of appreciation from the IAA, and will be invited for a private tour of its laboratories where finds undergo treatment and conservation.

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