An Israel Land Administration team conducting routine work near the southern town of Rahat on Thursday stumbled upon a surprising relic – a large unexploded bomb that was likely dropped from a plane at least 60 years ago.

The team, charged with identifying and demolishing structures that were illegally built on state land, found the bomb while removing chicken coops that were built without a permit.

Israeli Air Force sappers were quickly called to the scene to defuse the bomb, which was about a meter and a half long.

“It was a ticking bomb that could have caused damage to people and property,” said Israel Scoop, the head of the ILA’s Inspection and Supervision Department. “We’re extremely lucky that the bomb didn’t explode and cause casualties before it was discovered.”