A teenager made an incredible discovery when he found a 1,700-year-old artifact at a park on the border Israel and Syria.
Itamar Grossman, 13, was visiting the Sussita National Park, on the ruins of the ancient Hellenistic city of Hippos, when something on the ground caught his attention after he went to a vantage point with a cousin to take photos, according to a press release from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
That something turned out to be an ancient bronze ring.
“It was a strange and ancient-looking ring,” Itamar said, according to All Israel News. “My brothers and cousins who were with me didn’t think it was anything old, just a ring someone had dropped.”
Although his siblings and cousins didn’t think the ring was anything special, Itamar insisted on bringing it to his parents and park officials.
“When Itamar and his mother, Liat, approached us and showed us the ring they found, we immediately realized it was something significant,” said Sarit Pilachi Miara, an Israel Nature and Parks Authority official.
According to the press release, archaeologists identified the bronze ring as an ancient Roman artifact. It was determined that the ring was at least 1,700 years old but that it could in fact be much older and perhaps even date back as far as 100 BCE to 300 BCE.
The ring still showed visible decorative engravings, which archaeologists said would have been made when the ring was first cast.
Ancient ruins of Hippos
Sussita National Park, located near the near of the Galilee in the Golan Heights, is an archeological site preserving the ruins of the ancient city of Hippos. It has been the site of many archaeological excavations and discoveries over the past 30 years, although it was only opened to the public as a national park earlier in 2023.
The city of Hippos was founded in the Hellenistic period around 250 BCE and thrived throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods. It continued to exist after the Muslim conquest in 641 CE until it was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 749 BCE and abandoned.
The city contains many ruins from the Roman and Byzantine periods, such as the central city square, the forum and the water reservoir in the center of the forum, a basilica and an odeon, and eight churches.
In 2015 another bronze artifact was discovered at the site when archaeologists unearthed a huge bronze mask, dated between the 1st century BCE and the 2nd century CE, which depicted the Greek god Pan.