Hidden hoard hints at how ancient elites protected the family treasures | Science News

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Hidden hoard hints at how ancient elites protected the family treasures

A find from Israel reveals clues about Iron Age wealth protection

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2:00pm, November 27, 2017
ancient jewelry

HARD CACHE  A 3,100-year-old jewelry hoard previously discovered at a site in Israel includes earrings, beads, a ring and two linen cloths used as a wrapping for 35 pieces of silver jewelry.

BOSTON — Long before anyone opened a bank account or rented a safe deposit box, wealth protection demanded a bit of guile and a broken beer jug. A 3,100-year-old jewelry stash was discovered in just such a vessel, unearthed from an ancient settlement in Israel called Megiddo in 2010. Now the find is providing clues to how affluent folk hoarded their valuables at a time when fortunes rested on fancy metalwork, not money.

At the fortress city of Megiddo, a high-ranking Canaanite family stashed jewelry in a beer jug and hid it in a courtyard’s corner under a bowl, possibly under a veil of cloth, Eran Arie of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, said November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

The hoard’s owners removed the jug’s neck and inserted a bundle of 35 silver items, including earrings and a bracelet, which were wrapped in two linen cloths. Other valuables were then added to the jug, including

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