The Mystery of the Golden Tool

A mysterious gold object had archaeologists scratching their heads

Archaeologists in Jerusalem, stumped at the origin of a golden tool discovered in a cemetery, asked the public to help, and they did.

The Israel Antiquities Authority took possession of the object after it was unearthed inside a cemetery building. Researchers, unable to find other examples of the tool in history, appealed to the public for help identifying its origin and purpose.

The 8.5 kg gold piece underwent testing, but the public, in particular the Times of Israel, eventually solved the riddle. The publication reports that the piece is not an antiquity at all, but a New Age–style “energy protection” device called a gilded Isis Beamer. It is sold by an online German firm called Weber and comes in several sizes, including a small one that can be worn as a pendant.

It is unclear how the object came to be in the cemetery. 

(Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

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