Archaeologists working in the heart of Jerusalem to clear an area ahead of an upgrade of a park were surprised to chance upon a World War I era hand grenade, left behind by the British Army.
Oscar Becherno, director of the archaeological excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), was working in (Gan) Sacher Park on Sunday when he found the hand grenade in an ancient cistern.
Upon identification of the grenade, all work at the site was stopped and a police sapper was alerted to the site. The weapon was destroyed on site.
Assaf Peretz, an expert on modern-day weapons at the IAA, identified the grenade as a Mills 23 that was used by the British army in the First World War.
He said that it seems that the grenade was found in the past and was thrown by a passerby into a cistern to bury it and remove the danger from the area.
The IAA is well acquainted with the area near the Knesset, where Sacher Park is situated, and has previously excavated agricultural installations, ancient burial caves and other ancient remains, most of them from the Second Temple period.
The British Army conquered Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire in 1917.