A 3,300-year-old intact burial chamber was accidentally discovered in Israel. An excavator found the stone-hewn complex from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II during construction work in Palmachim on the Mediterranean Sea, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday.
An archaeologist descended a ladder into the chamber and found dozens of untouched burial objects there. These include pottery, cooking pots, storage containers, arrowheads and spearheads.
A video released by the Antiquities Authority shows amazed archaeologists illuminating the burial chamber with flashlights. Dozens of clay vessels from the time of Ramses II can be seen. According to the researchers, the cookware, lamps and storage vessels are grave goods for life in the afterlife, they have been lying untouched underground for around 3,300 years.
"The burial chamber can provide a complete picture of burial customs in the Late Bronze Age." At that time Canaan was part of the Egyptian Empire. Jannai told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the chamber apparently served as a family tomb. The bodies buried there are not well preserved, so DNA analyzes are not possible. However, one can assume that they were local coastal residents.
Shortly after the discovery of the intact burial chamber, several artifacts were stolen, according to the Antiquities Authority. It has now been sealed again and investigations into the theft are ongoing.
Sources: Israel Antiquities Authority, Haaretz, DPA, AFP