Ancient Egyptian amulet discovered by 12-year-old girl in Jerusalem

A statue of Thutmose III of Egypt's 18th Dynasty. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( A 3,200 year-old Egyptian amulet was recently discovered by a 12-year-old Jewish girl who was volunteering at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem.

“While I was sifting, I came across a piece of pottery that was different from others I had seen, and I immediately thought that maybe I had found something special,” said Neshama Spielman.

“It’s amazing to find something thousands of years old from ancient Egypt all the way here in Jerusalem! Celebrating Passover this year is going to be extra meaningful to me.”

The amulet displays the name of Thutmose III, the pharaoh of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty, who reigned from 1479-1425 BCE, according to the Ir David Foundation. The foundation co-sponsors the Temple Mount Sifting Project, in which volunteers sift through debris removed from the holy site and to try to retrieve as many artifacts as possible.

Prof. Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Dvira co-founded the sifting project in 2004 to identify and document the debris that was discarded by the Islamic Waqf, a religious trust that manages and controls access to the Temple Mount.

“The raised decoration displays a cartouche, an oval frame surrounding Egyptian hieroglyphics bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler. Above the oval framing is the symbol of an eye, and to its right are remnants of yet another hieroglyphic symbol depicting a cobra, of which parts of the head and tail are preserved,” Barkay said. 

Thutmose III was one of the most prominent pharaohs in Egypt’s New Kingdom.

“He is credited with establishing the Egyptian imperial province in Canaan, conducting 17 military campaigns to Canaan and Syria, and defeating a coalition of Canaanite kings at the city of Megiddo in 1457 BCE,” said Barkay.

Canaan and the city of Jerusalem were under Egyptian rule during the Late Bronze Age, which explains why the amulet was found in Jerusalem.

Posted on April 19, 2016 .