The following is an excerpt from the article:
Although Egyptian-Israeli relations have been frosty in recent years, ties between the two lands were vibrant around 3,000 BCE during the Early Bronze Age - at least according to Tel Aviv University and University College London archeologists who discovered a rare, four-centimeter-long stone fragment at the point where the Jordan River exits Lake Kinneret.Read the article in its entirety by clicking here.
The piece, part of a carved stone plaque bearing archaic Egyptian signs, was the highlight of the second season of excavations at Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak). The site lies along an ancient highway that connected Egypt to the wider world of the ancient Near East.
The dig, carried out within the Beit Yerah National Park, was completed there last week by a joint team headed by TAU's Raphael Greenberg and David Wengrow from England.
Earlier discoveries, both in Egypt and at Bet Yerah, have indicated that there was direct interaction between the site - then one of the largest in the Jordan Valley - and the Egyptian royal court. The new discovery suggests that these contacts were of far greater local significance than had been suspected.
The archeologists noted that the fragment - which depicts an arm and hand grasping a scepter and an early form of the ankh sign - was the first artifact of its type ever found in an archaeological site outside Egypt. It has been attributed to the period of Egypt's First Dynasty, at around 3000 BCE.
Finds of this nature are rare even within Egypt itself, they said, and the signs are executed to a high quality, as good as those on royal cosmetic palettes and other monuments dating to the origins of Egyptian kingship.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Khirbet el-Kerak, Tel Bet Yerah,