Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,300-year-old Egyptian coffin which contains the skeleton of a man buried with a gold Pharaonic seal in Israel.
The coffin, found in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel during work to install a gas pipeline, was part of a burial site dating back to the 13th century BC.
The 3,300-year-old cylindrical clay sarcophagus featured a rare anthropoidal lid — a cover in the shape of a person.
It was surrounded by “a variety of pottery consisting mainly of storage vessels for food, tableware, cultic vessels and animal bones,” according to a statement by Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
The coffin showed an impression of a man’s face in the Egyptian style, with stylised hair, ears and hands crossed over the chest and contained the skeleton of an adult male buried with a bronze dagger, a bronze drinking bowl, pottery and hammered pieces of bronze, Discovery News reported.
“Since the vessels interred with the individual were produced locally, we assume the deceased was an official of Canaanite origin who was engaged in the service of the Egyptian government,” researchers said.
Another, less likely possibility is that the coffin belonged to a wealthy local individual who imitated Egyptian funerary customs.
Next to the skeleton, archaeologists found an Egyptian scarab seal encased in gold and affixed to a ring which bore the name of Seti I, the Pharaoh who conquered the region in the 13th century BC.