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May 11, 2017 11:04 am

Remnants of WWI Battle Found in Archaeological Dig in Central Israel

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Remnants of World War I-era bullets, shell fragments and an insignia found in an archaeological dig in central Israel. Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority.

JNS.org – Remnants of a World War I battle between British and Turkish forces were discovered recently in an archaeological dig near Rosh Ha’ayin in central Israel.

The findings, which include dozens of bullet casings, mortar shells and military paraphernalia, were uncovered during an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) dig carried out ahead of the paving of a road connecting Rosh Ha’ayin to the nearby Afek Industrial Park.

Students from the pre-military Melach Haaretz academy who participated in the dig, and representatives of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the IAA, Tuesday presented the findings to Col. Ronnie Westerman, the defense attache at the British Embassy in Israel, and Eran Tearosh, director of the Society for the Heritage of World War I in Israel.

The discovery that a battle had taken place at the site was made after a broken piece of an insignia from a British beret was found. Bullets and casings from an Ottoman rifle were found nearby.

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“I was surprised to find this was a bullet casing of a rifle, and even more surprised when it turned out it was a bullet casing from World War I,” said Yossi Elisha, the director of the dig for the IAA.

“As archaeologists, we expect to discover archaic findings in ancient sites hundreds and thousands of years old, but here in front of us we uncovered a relatively young story, 100 years old,” he said. “These findings are evidence of one of the major battles that occurred in the land of Israel between British and Turkish forces in World War I.”

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