1,500-Year-old Rooster-like Clay Vessel Discovered by Vacationers at Sea of Galilee

October 31, 2017

The good Samaritans, a family from Jerusalem, submitted this unique find to the Israel Antiquities Authority representatives, and will soon receive a certificate of appreciation


While vacationing by the Sea of Galilee during Sukot, Mrs. Tal Pastman dipped in the lake water, when she noticed a strange object among the pebbles. She rubbed the mud off the object only to find, to her great surprise, this unique vessel.

Pastman contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority and gave their representative this rare find.  Tal says: "Since childhood I read stories of finding antiquities treasures, and I was enchanted by it. I always hoped that one day I will find a significant object from the past, and it just happened to me. The incredible point is that I found this rare object on a beach where thousands of people pass through every summer, and nobody noticed it until now. I immediately realized that I have something special in my hands. For me this is a dream come true ".


Yoav Tzur, Lower Galilee and Valleys area archeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, was very impressed with this complete unusual find. He says: "it looks like the receding Sea of Galilee water levels exposed this vessel lying within the pebbles. It is a rare and ancient vessel, which must have fallen from a passing ship's cargo, and drifted to the shore".

Boutros Hana, Lower Galilee and Valleys area archeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority says: " Tal has shown a model citizenship and care by submitting the impressive and surprising find to the state treasures. I hope, that thanks to the Pastman family, the general public will be able to enjoy this rare find when it finds a distinguished place at a museum. It is very important to always contact the Israel Antiquities Authority representatives when you come by a find in the field, so that we can exhaust the archaeological information from the site".


According to Dr. Adi Erlich, a senior lecturer at the Archaeology and History of the Art departments at Haifa University: "it seems that the vessel looks like a rooster or other type of bird. Such vessels (Zoomorphic) were discovered in the past in the northern part of Israel, especially in the context of Christian burial sites from the Byzantine era (5th-6th centuries AD) where they served during the burial ceremonies or as burial offerings. Finding such a vessel by the Sea of Galilee might imply that there is a burial ground nearby, or that there is a sunken ship which still holds its cargo."  

Photos Credit: Yoav Tzur, Israel Antiquities Authority

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