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Israeli Hiker Discovers Ancient Egyptian Icon at Karnei Chitim

During a hike with his small children on the Karnei Chitim mountain, (a twin- peaked mountain in the Lower Galilee which looks like horns or Karnayim in Hebrew), Amit Chaklai, who lives in the village nearby, saw a small white object which caught his interest. Amit noticed that the item was fashioned like a beetle and had various artistic designs on it and realized that it was an old Egyptian seal. He called the Antiquities Authority, as is the law in Israel and gave them the seal, asking only to know what it represented.

The seal was identified by Dr. Dafna Ben Tor, a curator for Ancient Egyptian culture at the Israel Museum, as a beetle amulet from the time of the new kingdom of Egypt. According to Ben Tor, Pharaoh Thutmose iii, who ruled in Egypt in the 15th century C.E. is the king whose visage appears on the seal. Thutmose ruled for a long period in this century and during his reign the Egyptians set up a regional administration in Canaan.

Ben Tor adds that these beetles were actually considered to have cosmological value in Ancient Egypt, which worshiped idols and constellations.

Karnei Chitim is a volcanic mountain which is famous for the battle fought there in 1187 between Saladin, the leader of the Moslems, and Richard the Lionheart, who headed the second Crusade. Saladin defeated the Christians emphatically and ended their influence in the land of Israel. At the site there is also a ruined fortress which according to archaeologists was destroyed in the 13th century B.C.E, which corresponds to the time when the Jewish people entered the land of Israel. 

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