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6,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Crown Used for Funeral Rituals
Ancient crown dating to about 3,500 B.C. discovered in the Cave of Treasures near the Dead Sea was used for burial ceremonies during the Copper Age.
Copper crown discovered in a Dead Sea cave in 1961.
The Nahal Mishmar Hoard is a collection of copper, bronze, ivory and stone artifacts found wrapped in a reed mat in a cave by the Dead Sea. A team searching for Dead Sea scrolls in 1961 discovered the treasure hidden in a crevice, behind a boulder deep within the cave.
Carbon-dating of the mat places it in the Copper Age between 4,000-3,500 B.C. The amazing find included mace heads, scepters, tools and weapons, many of which were unlike anything ever found.
One object of particular interest is a crown, believed to be the oldest in the world. It is a thick copper ring with doors and vultures protruding from the top. Based on the symbolism, researchers believe it was used for funeral rituals.
The crown was unveiled by New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World as part of the “Masters of Fire: Copper Age Art from Israel” exhibit earlier this year.
Copper Age artifacts found in the Cave of Treasures near the Dead Sea.