Rare intact burial cave with Bronze Age artefacts from the time of Ramses II discovered in Israel

‘Like an Indiana Jones setting’: Rare untouched burial cave with dozens of Late Bronze Age artifacts from Ramses II’s time unearthed in Israel

  • Archaeologists have discovered an intact burial site in Israel’s Palmahim National Park
  • The site has been largely intact in 3,300 years and contains bronze vessels, jars, pottery and tools of war
  • “This is a once-in-a-lifetime find,” said archaeologist Eli Yannai. “It’s not every day you see an ‘Indiana Jones’ set”
  • The burial chamber was carved into the rock in the shape of a square, with a pillar supporting its ceiling

Archaeologists have found an intact burial cave containing dozens of artifacts dating back to the time of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II.

The discovery of the space, described by officials as “frozen in time”, was made by accident when an excavator hit the roof of the structure on a beach in Palmahim National Park.

The burial site contains dozens of pieces of intact pottery and bronze vessels, jars and bowls of various types, cooking vessels and oil lamps. There were also very small vessels that contained minute amounts of valuable substances.

Archaeologists have discovered an intact burial cave containing dozens of artifacts dating back to the time of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II

The discovery of space, described by officials as being

The space find, described by officials as “frozen in time”, was made by accident when a mechanical shovel hit the roof of the cave structure on a beach in Palmahim National Park.

Archaeologists have also unearthed a few war tools, such as bronze arrowheads and spearheads.

Eli Yannai, a Bronze Age expert at the Israel Antiquities Authority, confirmed that the site contained a multitude of different objects meant to serve the dead in the afterlife.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Yannai told the Jerusalem Post. It’s not every day you see an “Indiana Jones” setting – a cave with ships on the ground that haven’t been touched for 3,300 years. We are talking about the Late Bronze Age. These are precisely the days of the famous king, Ramses II – the one some identify with the story of the Exodus.’

“The fact that these people were buried with weapons, including whole arrows, shows that these people could have been warriors, perhaps they were guards on ships – which may have been the reason for which they were able to get vessels from all over the region,” archaeologist David Gelman told DW.com.

The burial site contains intact pottery and bronze vessels, jars and bowls of various types, cooking vessels and oil lamps

The burial site contains intact pottery and bronze vessels, jars and bowls of various types, cooking vessels and oil lamps

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find,” Yannai told The Jerusalem Post. It’s not every day you see an ‘Indiana Jones’ setting – a cave with ships on the ground that haven’t been touched for 3,300 years

The burial chamber was carved into the rock in the shape of a square, with a pillar supporting its ceiling.

Authorities believe this burial site may have served a family or clan.

However, not much more can be said about the bodies. Unlike the burial site artifacts, the preservation of the bodies was poor, meaning DNA extraction and analysis will not occur.

Some of the bodies had been lying on their backs, while some appear to have supplanted other bodies, he told Haaretz.

Researchers do not know which colony they may have been associated with.

“It may have been lost in the sea over time,” Yannai said.

“The fact that these people were buried with weapons, including whole arrows, shows that these people could have been warriors,” David Gelman said. Above: Palmahim Beach in southern Israel