Modi’in School Pupils Help Find 900-Year-Old Crusader Jewelry Trove

June 20, 2017

Source: Times of israel


Some 2,500 Israeli pupils and volunteers from Modiin-Maccabim-Re’ut participated in an archaeological excavation in their own community, coming away with a new sense of history — and a treasure trove of 900-year-old Crusader-period jewelry. The 4th- through 12th-grade pupils engaged in a cultural-educational archaeological excavation as part of a joint Israel Antiquities Authority and municipality venture at Givat Tittora over the past year. Alongside the pupils, volunteers of all ages were also uncovering their town’s history and heritage — and having good, dirty fun in the process.

The Tel Tittora ancient archaeological mound has evidence of settlement beginning in the Chalcolithic period (c. 6,000 years ago) through modernity. The hill’s strategic location, surrounded by arable valleys on the main route from the coast to Jerusalem, explains its continual settlement. According to excavation director Avraham Tendler, the site has offered up artifacts from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the First Temple period through the Second Temple period, and even houses hiding complexes from the Bar Kochba Revolt.

Tendler’s team is currently excavating a Crusader fortress, where an impressive mass of 900-year-old jewelry was curiously all found in its inner courtyard. The finds included dozens of items, many of them in pristine condition.

“In the courtyard is where the women would cook and bake in clay ovens and apparently women who worked in the cooking and baking wore jewelry — necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, hair pins. Through the hundreds of years of activity in the courtyard, some of that jewelry fell,” said Tendler.

For Tendler, the opportunity for the schoolchildren to work alongside his team at the dig lets them break through the museum glass and discover their own history and heritage.

Municipality residents and other volunteers are excavating the foundations of the fortress. There they have exposed a large Roman period building beneath the Crusader fortress, which will also become part of the eventual public urban nature park on the hill.

Read the whole story at Times of Israel.

Updated: Jun. 28, 2017