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A timely reminder of the Exodus: Ancient Egyptian scarab seal found near Haifa


“The owner of this scarab filled a similar position to that held by Joseph in Egypt after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams,” says co-head of the Tel Dor archaeology site.
As Jews around the globe commemorate the ancient Israelites’ exodus from Egypt during Passover, a relic of a Pharaonic dynasty from some 3,500 years ago was found in northern Israel’s Tel Dor.

The University of Haifa announced on Sunday the discovery of a rare scarab seal belonging to a senior official of the Thirteenth Pharaonic Dynasty, which reigned in Egypt during the 18th-17th centuries BCE.

Birdwatcher Alexander Ternopolsky found the engraved stone seal at the coastal excavation site located south of Haifa before handing it over to an archeological authorities.

“The rains this past winter must have eroded the soil on the southern slope of the site, and thanks to Mr. Ternopolsky’s keen eyesight, the scarab was discovered and handed over to us,” said University of Haifa professor Ayelet Gilboa, who co-heads the excavations at Tel Dor.


According to initial studies of the scarab, stone engravings reveal the the name of the seal’s owner, his position along with symbolic hieroglyphics.

“Scarabs were very common objects in ancient Egypt, but the size and quality of this one, its owner’s high-ranking position, and the gold ring in which it is set all make this particular scarab a rare finding in our region,” Gilboa explained.

“The scarab must have belonged to a very senior figure in the kingdom, probably the viceroy responsible for the royal treasury,” she


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