web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Rare Discovery of 3,500-Year-Old Donkey in Israel

At about the same time the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, a young donkey was sacrificed in what is now Israel and was placed under a house. In a rare discovery, Archaeologists found the skeleton.
The donkey burial found at Tel Haror. Note the 1992 find of the donkey's skull with the bridle bit in the box at right.

The donkey burial found at Tel Haror. Note the 1992 find of the donkey's skull with the bridle bit in the box at right.
Photo Credit: PLusONE

Share Button

Archaeologists north of Be’er Sheva have discovered the skeleton of a  3,500-year-old donkey, complete with a copper bridle in its mouth and saddle bags on its back.

The rare find led Israeli researchers to conclude that the donkey, estimated to be only four years at the time of its death, was sacrificed as part of a Bronze Age ritual at a time when donkeys enjoyed a respected status.

Donkeys are frequently mentioned in the Bible, with the most famous one being the “talking mule” of the non-Jew Balaam, who was paid by King Balak to curse Israel but ended up blessing the People of Israel as they stood on the edge of the desert before entering the Promised Land.

Donkeys were the beast of burden, were used on trade routes and were so important during the founding of ancient Egypt that skeletons of donkeys have been found in graves of pharaohs.

The skeleton that was found at an archaeological site near Kiryat Gat, located approximately 15 miles north of Be’er Sheva and 50 miles or so southeast of Tel Aviv, indicates that the young donkey was spared hard labor.

Guy Bar-Oz of the University of Haifa, who headed the research team at the Tel Haror site, said that donkey was laid on its left side, with its limbs neatly bent. It probably was sacrificed, and the copper bridle bit probably was symbolic because the animal’s teeth showed that the bit was not used.

“The absence of any sign of bit wear on the lower premolars indicates that the animal was not ridden or driven with a bit for prolonged periods of time,” the researchers write in a paper published online this week in the online journal PLoS ONE. “Moreover, the young donkey was still in the process of shedding its teeth and permanent teeth were just erupting. Based on its age, the Haror donkey would probably have been too young to be a trained draught animal.”

The bit is  the only one from the Bronze Age to have been found in the mouth of hoofed mammals.

A sign that the donkey had been sacrificed in a rite was a pile of bones from sheep and goats that were found near the donkey’s carcass.

“The Tel Haror interment represents the only known example of a donkey within a ritual context that was symbolically harnessed with a horse bit and bearing saddlebags, and, thus, sheds important light on both the functional and symbolic role of equids in the Ancient Near East,” the research team wrote on PLosOne.

“The location, grouping, dimensions and symmetrical placement of the fittings, leads us to suggest that they represent the remains of fasteners for saddlebags that was composed of decayed organic material, such as leather,” they added.

Share Button

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Rare Discovery of 3,500-Year-Old Donkey in Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest News Stories

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]

Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky is being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Suffolk University to honor ADL's national director Abraham Foxman despite student opposition,

Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.

Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, with reports of casualties continuing to stream out of the provinces in dispute,

Israeli researchers discover a common blood pressure medication can prevent epilepsy from developing after TBI.

The Fatah terror faction has agreed to form a unity government — again with Hamas.

An Israeli-American journalist has been kidnapped in eastern Ukraine and is being held hostage by separatists there.

The US has decided to begin restoring its military aid to Egypt, apparently in response to the Egypt-Russia MiG-35 deal that is on the table.

Attacks against former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar get as petty as which robe he is wearing, and when he is running his Lag B’Omer bonfire.

 
MiG-35
52

The picture above is of a Russian MiG-35. It is Russia’s most advanced fighter jet. Reports say that Israel’s neighbors to the south will be getting 24 of them. In case you see one flying overhead, now you’ll know what it is.

A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

Bashar Assad will be running for president of Syria again…

This massive Russian-Egyptian arms deal is a slap in the face for President Obama and his failed foreign policy.

It is no wonder that Marionville is ”the home of the white squirrels.” Black ones wouldn’t stand a chance, forget about Jewish ones.

Jordan’s foreign minister summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest what it called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount. The Jordanian government told Ambassador Daniel Nevo that recent clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli soldiers on the Temple Mount a violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. The Temple Mount was closed to visitors […]

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Marionville Mayor quit his post rather than face impeachment for his slurs against Jews.

It is no wonder that Marionville is ”the home of the white squirrels.” Black ones wouldn’t stand a chance, forget about Jewish ones.

The chisel was found along with a gold bell that may have been on the clothes of the High Priest.

The government’s approval of Jews moving into the Hebron building marks a return to a bit of political normalcy.

There is nothing like a good round of anti-Semitism to sober up Jews to move to Israel.

Card-carrying Israeli citizens in a totally Arab city in the western Galilee already are preparing celebrations for what they expect will be the return of their “heroes” who killed Israelis in terrorist attacks. The United States is trying to work out a deal with Israel to allow freeing several Arab terrorists with Israeli citizenship in […]

The BDS movement has done us a favor by showing the world they are idiots over the Scarlett-SodaStream duet.

Yesha leader have a problem condemning violence if it carried out “for the cause.”

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rare-discovery-of-3500-year-old-donkey-in-israel/2013/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: