City of David officials recently announced the extremely rare discovery made inside Jerusalem's Emek Tzurim national park, after taking four years to authenticate the estimated 3,200-year-old relic.
The pendant-shaped amulet bears the partial name of Pharaoh Thutmose III of the Eighteenth Dynasty. It also has a hole at the top that would allow it to be strung, officials said in a press release.
Neshama Spielman, who is now 12 years old, said she was participating in the Temple Mount Sifting Project, a volunteer-based dig, when she found the unusual object.
“While I was sifting, I came across a piece of pottery that was different from others I had seen, and I immediately thought that maybe I had found something special,” she said in a statement. “It’s amazing to find something thousands of years old from ancient Egypt all the way here in Jerusalem!"
Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, speculated that the amulet turned up in Jerusalem because of Egypt's more than 300-year rule over the area during the late Bronze Age.
Exactly when this amulet was created isn't known, however.
Though Thutmose III ruled over Egypt from 1479 B.C. to 1425 B.C., it wasn't unusual for items bearing his name to be produced later on, Barkay said in the statement.
“Objects bearing the name of Thutmose III continued to be produced in Egypt long after the time of his reign, reflecting the significance and lasting impression of this king,” he said. “Thutmose III referred to himself as ‘the one who has subdued a thousand cities.’”
Zachi Dvira, co-founder and co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, said researchers compared the amulet to an identical one that was previously found in northern Israel and bore the name of King Seti I. That Egyptian pharaoh ruled Egypt during the late 14th to early 13th centuries B.C.
"This seems to indicate that both pendants date to the same time period, namely the late 14th – early 13th century BCE,” Dvira said.