900 year-old jewelry found in Crusader castle


Photo Credit:Vered Bosidan, Israel Antiquities Authority

Lost an earring in the kitchen? Don’t get upset. Wait 900 years or so and somebody’s sure to find it.

That’s what’s happening in Israel, where 2,500 schoolkids have been participating, one class at a time, in the excavation of a Crusader fortress on Tittora Hill, 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem in the town of Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut.

The fourth- to 12th-graders have uncovered some amazing artifacts — rings, bracelets, earrings and hairpins — among the ancient clay ovens, cooking pots, jars, serving dishes and a table in the medieval fortress’ kitchen. They also found the remains of food, including olive pits, charred grape pips and animal bones.

“The students and volunteers from Modi’in have exposed the inner courtyard of the Crusader fortress,” said Avraham Tendler, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Here, the fortress’ occupants cooked and baked for hundreds of years during the Middle Ages, some 900 years ago.

“It seems that the cooks of the time were not sufficiently careful with the jewelry they wore while cooking and baking, since numerous pieces of jewelry have been found in the excavation, some made of bronze and silver.”

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