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March 7, 2022 8:47 am

1,500-Year-Old ‘Magic Bowls’ Found in Jerusalem

avatar by i24 News

Artifacts that were seized from an alleged illegal antiquities dealer’s home in Jerusalem. Photo: Yuli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority

i24 News – A search of an apartment in Jerusalem has revealed hundreds of rare artifacts, including three 1,500-year-old “magic bowls,” the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Monday.

The suspected dealer in illegal antiquities resides in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

IAA’s theft prevention unit conducted the raid in coordination with Jerusalem district police.

Trading in stolen artifacts is a criminal offense, with punishment of up to three years in prison.

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The magic incantation bowls are dated to the 4th to 8th centuries CE. They came from Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and are written in Aramaic and use quotes from the Hebrew Bible in the Hebrew language.

“Bowls of this type came from ancient sites in Mesopotamia — Iraq of today. The text was written by artists to a specific client, in accordance with his personal needs,” Amir Ganor, director of the IAA’s Robbery Prevention Division, said.

Additional finds include hundreds of ancient coins, glassware and weapons.

“The antiquity belongs to all of us. They are our heritage,” IAA Director Eli Escozidoy said.

“Unauthorized antiques traders encourage antiquities robbers to come out and destroy ancient sites, in search of finds to sell in the antiques market. In the name of making money, they damage the ancient sites, disconnect the findings from their historical context, and remove parts of humanity’s story.”

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