1,000-yr-old bracelets found in Ramle

Most elaborate bracelet is engraved with the Arabic words "a full blessing."

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
April 11, 2006 21:40
1,000-yr-old bracelets found in Ramle

antique bracelets. (photo credit: Israel Antiquities Authority)

 
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In a rare find, ancient gold and silver bracelets dating back 1,000 years have been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Ramle, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday. The 11th-century jewelry was found inside the remnants of houses and stores at a dig at the site that date back to the early Arab period (638-1099). The three gold bracelets and the six silver ones, as well as an assortment of money, were discovered inside a jar found at the site. The most elaborate gold bracelet is decorated on both sides with samples of vegetation, with the words "a full blessing" in Arabic engraved in its center. The bracelets uncovered are typical of the wealth and splendor of the jewelry of the Fatimid period (969-1171 CE). Similar silver bracelets were previously found in excavations conducted near Jerusalem's Temple Mount, but the gold bracelets discovered at the Ramle site were until now found only in museum collections, having been donated or acquired in other ways, the IAA said. "This is the first time gold bracelets have been found in an organized archeological excavation," said Arab-period archeologist Ayala Lester.

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