Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News

History & Archeology

Ancient ‘Magical Mirror’ Found by Israeli Kids

Youth leader Aviv Weitzman (Photo: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

A young youth group leader discovered an ancient “magical mirror” in an archaeological excavation in northern Israel. Seventeen-year-old Aviv Weizman from Kiryat Motskin, near Haifa, took part in an Israel Antiquities Authority archaeological excavation at the ancient site of Usha, as part of the Young Leaders’ Survival Course, and uncovered an exceptional find from the Byzantine period—a 1,500-year-old “magical mirror.”

It seems that many of the most important archeological discoveries made in Israel come by accident, by everyday people, and even kids. For example, in February JBN reported on how an Israeli teenager, a volunteer, uncovered a rare gold bead from the end of the Roman era while taking part in the sifting project at the Archaeological Experience at the Israel Antiquities Authority’s excavation of the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David, part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park. The gold bead is handmade in a delicate and complicated process.

And in May, an Israeli swimmer made an amazing historic find: a rare cargo of 1,800-year-old marble artifacts, borne in a merchant ship that was shipwrecked in a storm. These items were discovered by Gideon Harris while swimming in the sea at the Beit Yanai beach.

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at
Thank you.

Eli Shayish, Director of the Ministry of Education Shelah and Land of Israel Studies, said, “The participation of the pupils in the archaeological excavations deepens their feeling of belonging to the country and its heritage.”

Navit Popovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority Curator of the classical Periods, explained that this fragment is part of a “magical mirror” from the Byzantine period of control over Israel which transpired during the 4th–6th centuries CE. It is a glass mirror, for protection against the Evil Eye and would have been placed in the middle of the plaque.

“The idea was that the evil spirit, such as a demon, who looked in the mirror, would see his own reflection, and this would protect the owner of the mirror,” said Popovich, adding that similar mirror plaques have been found in the past as funerary gifts in tombs, in order to protect the deceased in their journey to the world to come.

500 high-school pupils took part in the “Survival Course” run by the Shelah and Land of Israel Studies branch of the Ministry of Education, and participated in archaeological excavations around the country together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, encountering their historical and cultural heritage.

During the Ministry of Education Shelah Young Leaders’ Survival Course, the young leaders take part in a 90-km survival trek from Mount Meron to Mount Hermon. In the course of the trek, the youth participate in Israel Antiquities Authority archaeological excavations at sites located around the country that will be opened to the general public in the future.



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.