A family uncovered an ancient iron hammer and nails during a community dig at an archaeological site in Israel.
The discovery was made during an excavation at the site of Usha, a settlement near Kiryat Ata, in the northern part of the country.
The ancient iron hammer and nails that were found during the Usha excavation.
(Yoli Schwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Dating back to the Byzantine period, about 1,400 years ago, the hammer and nails were found near slag leftover from iron production.
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“About 20 iron hammers are registered in the Israel Antiquities Authority records, only six of them from the Byzantine period,” said Yair Amitzur and Eyad Bisharat, who directed the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in a statement. “We already knew that the Usha settlers extensively manufactured glass vessels, since we found many wine glasses and glass lamps together with glass lumps that were the raw material; the discovery of the hammer, the nails and the adjacent iron slag teaches us that they also produced iron tools at the site.”
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Aerial view of the winepresses and the adjacent ritual bath at the Usha site.
(Photograph: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)
The remains of oil and wine presses were also found at the site, along with two ritual baths that are hewn from rock, dating back to the Roman and Byzantine periods 1,800 years ago.
“The discovery of the ritual baths indicates that the Jewish press workers took care to purify themselves in the ritual baths in order to manufacture ritually-pure oil and wine,” said the Israel Antiquities Authority in a statement.
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Archaeologists in Israel recently discovered the remains of a stunning 1,500-year-old church decorated with beautiful mosaic floors and Greek inscriptions.
The Byzantine church, which features a mosaic inscription to a mysterious “glorious martyr” and a unique cross-shaped baptismal font, was uncovered at Ramat Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem.
A young excavator holds the iron hammer that was discovered in the Usha excavation.
Last year, a previously unknown 1,500-year-old painting of Christ’s face was uncovered at a Byzantine church in Israel’s Negev desert.
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