Lifeguard stumbles upon 2,500 year-old maritime relic against evil eye

An Israeli lifeguard taking his regular morning swim off the Mediterranean coast in southern Israel got more than he bargained for when he accidentally discovered an ancient talisman against the evil eye, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Sunday. The object the lifeguard turned over was a 2,500 year old marble disc that was attached to ships to keep evil away, the Israeli archeology body said. Experts say the relic, discovered off the coast Palmahim beach where the ancient Yavne-Yam port city once stood, dates back to the 5th or 4th century BC. The white disc, flat on one side and convex on the other, measures 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter. The center of the disc is perforated, and the remains of two circles are painted around the center of it. This object is said to represent the pupil of an eye that adorned the bow of an ancient warship or cargo ship. Yaakov Sharvit, director of the Marine Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the finding confirms mythological tales about superstitious sailors.