Crusader-era grenade dug out of central Israel home
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Crusader-era grenade dug out of central Israel home

Family shows metal artifacts retrieved from sea by late father, including knife-head some 3,500 years old

A hand grenade thought to be hundreds of years old, recently given to the IAA, in a photo released August 22, 2016. (Amir Gorzalczany/ Israel Antiquities Authority)
A hand grenade thought to be hundreds of years old, recently given to the IAA, in a photo released August 22, 2016. (Amir Gorzalczany/ Israel Antiquities Authority)

A medieval metal hand grenade and 3,500-year-old knife were among a trawl of metal objects, squirreled away in a central Israel home until recently, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.

The objects were recently handed over to the authority by a family whose late father had retrieved them from the sea while working at the Hadera power station.

The objects came to light when the Mazliah family of Givatayim in central Israel invited the IAA to their home to examine metal artifacts that belonged to the late Marcel Mazliah.

The early grenade would have been filled with Greek fire, sealed and hurled at an enemy, a weapon common in Israel from the 11th to 14th centuries CE.

It was used during the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, according to the IAA

An ancient metal hand grenade forms part of a collection of metal objects presented by a Givataim family to the Israel Antiquities Authority, August 2016. (Diego Barkan/IAA)
An ancient metal hand grenade forms part of a collection of metal objects presented by a Givataim family to the Israel Antiquities Authority, August 2016. (Diego Barkan/IAA)

IAA curator Ayala Lester said other finds included the head of a knife from some 3,500 years ago, a toggle pin tool, two mortars and pestles, and parts of candlesticks.

The objects apparently fell overboard from a metal merchant’s ship in the Early Islamic period, the IAA said.

“The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel,” Lester said. “The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period.”

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