Storm exposes 70-year-old copy of independence declaration
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Rooted out

Storm exposes 70-year-old copy of independence declaration

Scroll rolled into sealed taxidermist's jar remained in pristine condition between tree roots at northern kibbutz; last month, winds knocked tree down

The jar containing a 70-year-old copy of Israel's Declaration of Independence came to light when a storm uprooted a tree at Kibbutz Degania Alef in the Jordan valley, April 2018. (Jordan Valley Regional Council).
The jar containing a 70-year-old copy of Israel's Declaration of Independence came to light when a storm uprooted a tree at Kibbutz Degania Alef in the Jordan valley, April 2018. (Jordan Valley Regional Council).

A copy of Israel’s Declaration of Independence dating back to the year that the State of Israel was born was discovered Monday during efforts to remove an old tree damaged during surprise storms two weeks ago.

Perfectly preserved in a sealed taxidermy jar, normally used for keeping creatures that have been stuffed, the scroll was originally placed between the roots of a cypress tree on Kibbutz Degania Alef in the Jordan Valley, east of the Sea of Galilee.

The tree fell during unseasonable storms two weeks ago.

Two kibbutz members were spraying clumps of dirt off its roots before removing the tree when they noticed something round and un-tree-like poking out.

The kibbutz will keep the new find enclosed in its special jar, as it already has a copy of the declaration in its archives.

David Ben-Gurion, flanked by the members of his provisional government, reads the Declaration of Independence in the Tel Aviv Museum Hall on May 14, 1948 (photo credit: Israel Government Press Office)

Degania Alef was established in 1909 during Ottoman times and was home to several icons of early Zionism, among them poet Rachel Bluwstein (known simply as Rachel the Poet), soldier-politician Moshe Dayan, and Zionist leaders A.D. Gordon and Joseph Trumpeldor.

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