Mysterious Jerusalem 'golden artifact' identified

Strange, ridged item had left archaeologists stumped - but after widespread coverage the mystery has finally been solved.

Tags: IAA
Ari Soffer ,

What on earth is it?
What on earth is it?
Israel Antiquities Authority

A strange, golden "artifact" discovered in a Jerusalem cemetery has finally been identified, after leaving archaeologists and other experts utterly baffled.

The ridged, golden tool was unearthed several months ago by maintenance workers who found what they thought was a suspicious package. After security forces had determined the package was not a bomb, they discovered the unidentified item, which weighs 8.8 kilograms, and handed it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority for further examination.

But IAA experts were left scratching their heads, unable to determine what the item was, or even whether it was in fact an ancient artifact or something more modern.

In a last-ditch effort to solve the mystery, the IAA on Tuesday published pictures of the item and appealed for help from the public. Hundreds of responses poured in, with suggestions including an elaborate rolling pin, a cattle prod, a piece of industrial machinery, a massaging tool and even a relic from the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

So what is the mystery object?

A German company, Webber, has identified it as one of its products: an "Isis beamer."

Never heard of it? Neither had anyone in Israel, apparently (or most likely anywhere else). It is, apparently, a tool used for "energy healing," named after the Egyptian goddess of magic and life (not the modern-day genocidal Islamist terrorist group - now that would be an odd choice of branding).

With that mystery solved, the IAA is now seeking to understand who planted the tool in a box in the middle of a cemetery, and why.