April 5, 2016
Incense shovel, jug from Second Temple era unearthed at Magdala, on Sea of Galilee, during recent excavations
A 2,200-year-old bronze incense shovel found at Magdala after having been cleaned in the Israel Antiquities Authority metallurgical laboratories. (Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
An ornate Second Temple era bronze incense shovel and bronze jug were recently unearthed at the biblical site of Magdala, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.
The 2,200-year-old artifacts were found during excavations being carried out at the archaeological site on the western shore of the Kinneret. The town is known traditionally by Christians as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’s followers mentioned in the New Testament who witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection.
They were resting one on top of the another on a stone floor in a storeroom near the fishing village’s pier and likely belonged to a local Jewish family, archaeologists said.
Ritual shovels were used in Jewish cultic practice for burning incense in the Temple in Jerusalem. They are depicted in contemporary Jewish iconography as one of the articles associated with the Temple.