Facebooker Solves Mystery of 'Gold-plated Artifact' Unearthed in Jerusalem

Israel's Antiquities Authority was baffled by the 17.5-pound object found in a Jerusalem cemetery - which turned out not to be Temple treasure after all.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Mysterious unidentified 17.5 pound gold-plated artifact discovered at Jerusalem synagogue. December 22, 2015.
Mysterious unidentified 17.5 pound gold-plated artifact discovered at Jerusalem synagogue. December 22, 2015. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority / Yuli Schwartz
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The mystery of the 17.6-pound gold-plated object found in a Jerusalem cemetery has been solved.

Officials at the Israel Antiquities Authority had been at their wits' end after the discovery of the object in a Jerusalem cemetery some months ago, and on Tuesday requested the public's help. Within hours posters on Haaretz's Hebrew Facebook page supplied an answer: it was neither Temple treasure, as some postulated, or even modern treasure. It was a part from a New Age talisman called a "Weber Isis Beamer harmonizer" that sells online for up to 120 euros, as the Israel Antiquities Authority confirmed.

Mysterious unidentified 17.5 pound gold-plated artifact discovered at Jerusalem synagogue. December 22, 2015. Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority / Yuli Schwartz

The gold-plated, football-shaped grooved object, with handles at both ends, had been found in by the cemetery groundskeeper. He called in the police, who in turn alerted sappers, who conducted a controlled explosion.

Some researchers believe treasure from the Jewish temples has been hidden throughout Jerusalem's western Valley of the Cross. When the strange object was first found, the IAA therefore reached out to religious as well scientific experts.

No ancient treasure: The Weber Isis Beamer harmonizers

The IAA had, to be fair, thought the thing was probably modern, noting that it had been placed within a plastic pipe, covered in cotton and preserved with an anti-oxidant. The pipe was buried a meter and a half underground.

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