Can You Dig It?

on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Israeli news website Haaretz included the cache of silver and gold cultic items discovered by the Tel Gezer Water System Excavation in its list of top archaeological finds of 2016.

Read about this and other top finds at

The Gezer water system excavation is a joint project of the Moskau Institute for Archaeology at NOBTS and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) along with Liberty University School of Divinity, a dig consortium member. The excavation is directed by Dennis Cole, Jim Parker and Dan Warner of New Orleans Seminary, INPA chief archaeologist Tsvika Tsuk and Eli Yannai.

The cache of items, which included a silver pendant devoted to Canaanite and Mesopotamian deities and a Hyksos-era scarab set in a gold frame, was wrapped in a linen cloth and placed in a clay “container” made of two bowls. The container was then hidden in the foundation of one of the rooms.

Warner believes that the cache represents a “foundation deposit” meant to bless the room.

“Finding a foundation deposit like this one in what appears to be a public storeroom is rare,” Warner said. “Surely it had a religious function; an offering to gods to make sure the structure would remain standing.”

The pendant includes a disk embossed with an eight-pointed star and prominent crescent shape. Irit Ziffer from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) believes the star disk represents the Canaanite fertility goddess Ishtar and the crescent symbolizes the Mesopotamian moon god Sin.