Going on a field trip is a much anticipated highlight for most kids, but unearthing an ancient figurine while on said field trip is the stuff dreams are made of. Seven year-old Ori Greenhut was climbing a dirt mound with friends at an archaeological site in Israel when he spied the 3,400 year-old figurine poking out of the ground. He carefully dusted it off and brought it home, excited but unaware of the finding’s significance. Ori’s family then gave the female figurine to the Israel Antiquities Authority, where researchers examined the discovery and are divided as to whether she represents a goddess of fertility named Astarte or an ordinary woman. Whomever she is, the figurine is indeed an ancient artifact, typical of the Canaanite culture of the 15th-13th centuries B.C.E., and was fashioned by pressing soft clay into a mold. Although Ori returned the figurine to the authorities, he was given a certificate of appreciation from the Antiquities Authority for his discovery and his actions. Ori’s findings just go to show that you never know what treasures your child will find when they spend some time in the dirt!
Images © Israeli Antiquities Authority