An eight-year-old with aspirations of becoming a real-life ‘Indiana Jones’ had his wish partially come true after uncovering an artifact at Tel Beit Shemesh, an archaeological dig site located to the southwest of Jerusalem.
Itai Halperin was there with his family when an object on the ground caught his eye. Halperin’s family decided to immediately turn it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
At a meeting with archaeologist Alexander Glick, Halperin learned that the object was the head of a statue of the goddess of fertility.
On the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Alon de Groot, an Israel Antiquities Authority expert in the Iron Age period, said, “Such figurines, in the form of a nude woman symbolizing fertility, were common in the homes of residents of the Kingdom of Judah from the 8th century BCE to the destruction of the kingdom by the Babylonians in the days of Zedekiah (586 BCE).”
Beit Shemesh is referenced in the Bible as a city of the tribe of Judah.
Past excavations at the site have revealed that it was a large city during the First Temple period (960-586 BC). It served as a regional industrial and commercial center and it was surrounded by a wall. The city boasted residential and public buildings, as well as warehouses and an impressive water system.
The Assyrian king Sennacherib destroyed Bet Shemesh in 701 BCE. In 586 BC, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar carried out its final destruction.
Halperin will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Israel Antiquities Authority, and he and his classmates will be invited to take part in an archaeological dig.
Halperin had recently seen an ‘Indiana Jones’ movie and this further cements his dream of growing up to be like him.