Shalom Life | March 28, 2015

Israeli Porcupine Discovers 1,400 Year-Old Lamp

While burrowing at the Emek Hefer site, a porcupine has uncovered an ancient lamp that can shed some light on the people of a time long since passed

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 24th, 2015 in News » Israel

Photo: Porcupine


A 1,400 year-old oil lamp was unearthed last week by a porcupine, of all things.

During what was supposed to be a routine patrol of the Horbat Siv, ancient Roman-Byzantine ruins which are located near Emek Hefer in the heart of Israel, an anti-antiquities inspector found the lamp in a dirt heap that had been made by a burrowing porcupine.

These prickly mammals live underground in tunnels that can reach up to 15 meter in length, and, it seems, have better luck at discovering treasures than humans sometimes.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is excited about the animal’s find and have inspected it, along with other pieces the creature dug up during its late night dig. The evidence has helped shed some light on the timeline in which people used to inhabit the Emek Hefer site.

Ancient

1,400-year-old lamp discovered

According to Ira Horovitz, a member of the anti-antiquities theft department of the IAA, as reported by The Jerusalem Post, “the porcupine is an excellent archaeologist, a relentless digger… It often happen that porcupines dig their burrow at the site of archaeological digs… he skillfully throws the dirt aside, and with it whatever archaeological findings are in his path.”

“The IAA call on all porcupines to avoid digging burrows at archaeological sites,” the IAA joked, “and warns that digging at an archaeological site without a license is a criminal offense.”
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