The Mazliah family in the central-region of Israel recently inherited a small trove of ancient artifacts—including a hand grenade almost 500-years-old, or perhaps even older. And the family’s father, Marcel, had simply accumulated a collection of historical items by retrieving them from the sea while working at coastal power station.
After his death, the Mazliah family decided the best place for the items is in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which is the official preserver of ancient artifacts in Israel. A press release from the IAA on the donation said that the family presented to the IAA representatives “metal objects, most of which are decorated, that apparently fell overboard from a metal merchant’s ship in the Early Islamic period.”
Some of the items were even older than the grenade, itself common to the region in the Crusader period and afterwards, including the head of a knife more than 3,500-years-old.
Other objects include candlestick fragments and two mortars and two pestles. Ayala Lester, a curator with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said, “The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel. The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period.”
The IAA representatives who were invited to examine the objects found the types of items surprising, and the IAA is grateful for the Mazliah family’s presenting of them to the Authority. The IAA will provide the family an official certificate of appreciation and a tour of their restoration laboratories as a formal expression of gratitude.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 24, 2016)