Sharing the Love for Baubles with the Ancients

“You know those broken gold chains and single gold earrings stashed away in a box or drawer! Sell them for cash!” Don’t we hear that enough these days with the high price of gold! Well, some things never change! Even the ancients stashed single earrings away as discovered in the Jezreel Valley of Northern Israel. A single gold earring as well as other 3,000 year old pieces, including a ring and beads, and being considered “among the most valuable ever found from the Biblical period” by Tel Aviv University, were unearthed in the ancient city-state of Tel Megiddo.

A private home, valuable jewelry, hidden for safe keeping; sounds like the twenty-first century! However, in this case, around 1100 BC, most likely a high society Canaanite family in Tel Megiddo carefully hid both gold and silver jewelry in a vessel in a private home, never able to retrieve their valued possessions for reasons we will never know.

The treasured pieces are believed to have originated in Egypt because of the designs and material use in their making. Molded ibexes, which are wild goats, are decorating the gold earring. In addition, dating the jewelry to around 1100 BC places it just after the end of the Egyptian rule. Aren Maeir, a Bar Ilan University archeologist states that these pieces “tell us about international relations…and about technical traditions of the time,” because the raw materials used to make them were not from the Megiddo region. Eran Arie, a Tel Aviv researcher, said that this suggests the owners of the jewelry were either under Egyptian cultural influence or the pieces were left behind during the Egyptian withdrawal from that area.

Megiddo was a city of significance in ancient history as a trade center during the Iron Age and Bronze Age, with Egypt and Megiddo interacting. This leaves no surprise that Egyptian influences or artifacts might be connected with Israel. More excitingly, in the future, Megiddo will be the site of the battle of Armageddon as stated in the New Testament!

View of valley at Meggido

The tradition of a secret hiding place for treasured baubles continues on. Valued for their beauty or price, we enjoy them just as the elite of ancient times. We know that these earthly treasures will be just that, earthy; adorned, melted down for cash, hidden away, perhaps left as an artifact for the future.

Instead may our true treasure be in safe keeping for eternity as we hide our hearts in Christ. Rather than hide our earthly things in a vessel, may we become a vessel for Him.