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April 25, 2016 12:44 pm

Birdwatcher Discovers Ancient Egyptian Scarab Seal in Northern Israel

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The ancient Egyptian scarab seal discovered in northern Israel. Photo: Tel Dor expedition.

The ancient Egyptian scarab seal discovered in northern Israel. Photo: Tel Dor expedition.

JNS.org – A rare scarab seal belonging to a senior Egyptian official of the 13th Pharaonic Dynasty (18th-17th centuries BCE) has been found at the Tel Dor excavation site in northern Israel.

The seal was discovered by Alexander Ternopolsky, an amateur birdwatcher, who handed it over to the archaeologists at the site.

“The scarab must have belonged to a very senior figure in the kingdom, probably the viceroy responsible for the royal treasury,” said Professor Ayelet Gilboa of the Archaeology Department at the University of Haifa, who is heading the Tel Dor excavations together with Professor Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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“The owner of this scarab filled a similar position to that held by Joseph in Egypt after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams,” Gilboa said.

The coastal city of Dor, situated at the foot of Mount Carmel, served as a key port city for thousands of years. For long periods, until the Romans built Caesarea, Dor was the most important commercial center in the area and a hub for commercial and passenger traffic.

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