|25 June 2005
Carved stone found in Israel
Ground-clearing work carried out on Kibbutz Ginosar (Israel) last summer supplied an abundance of sculpting material as the tractors unearthed large chunks of stone in the fields. When Sculptor Yuval Lufan went to the area to choose some suitable stones, he was surprised to find traces of etching on one of them. Stones engraved with the images of animals and people have been discovered along the desert routes of the southern Negev and Sinai. In northern Israel, this phenomenon was unknown.
Antiquities Authority archaeologist Yotam Tepper, who examined the etchings, found that they show a man holding a pole, riding in a standing position on a horse or donkey. On his right is a depiction of a square object or building, capped with a dome. Below the building and the riding man is an animal, to the left of which are two more animals, one with its tail raised, the other with its tail lowered. Tepper suggests that the picture portrays a leopard attacking another animal. The field in which the stone was found is at the source of the Amud River, known for its prehistoric sites. Still, Tepper says that it is difficult to connect the stone Lufan found with any prehistoric period.
Scenes of a leopard attacking an animal are known since the Neolithic era; it is therefore difficult to tell exactly when the images were carved in the stone found in Ginosar. The carved stone found by Lufan did not remain a unique find in the region for long. Recently other stone etchings have been discovered near Poriya and further north, near Kfar Hanasi. The stones and the etchings are still being examined to determine their age and meaning.
Source: Haaretz.com (23 June 2005)
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