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It Took Israeli Authorities Months to Identify This Strange, Gold Object

Ancient artifact or back massager?

This mysterious object was discovered buried in a Jerusalem cemetery. (Israeli Antiquities Authority)
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For months, Israeli antiquities experts have puzzled over a mysterious golden object discovered in a Jerusalem cemetery. But thanks to the magic of the internet, the artifact that stumped some of Israel’s top experts has finally been identified, Sarah Laskow reports for Atlas Obscura.

A few months ago, a groundskeeper was making the regular rounds through the cemetery in question when he discovered a strange package abandoned inside one of the graveyard's old buildings. Being cautious, the worker alerted the authorities, who quickly conducted a controlled explosion to make sure it wasn’t a bomb of some sort. Luckily the package didn’t pose any danger, but the golden object they discovered buried at the site of the explosion ignited even more questions, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The mysterious gold object was turned over to the Israeli Antiquities Authority, who were just as stumped as the police. Weighing almost 19 pounds, the foot-long object was gold-plated, shaped roughly like a football with a series of grooves cut into it and featured palm-sized knobs at both ends. However, while antiquities experts were mystified by the object, it didn’t appear to be ancient: the grooves seemed to be made by a machine, for one thing, and the object itself was found buried inside a plastic pipe, Nir Hasson reports for Haaretz.

After months of puzzling over the strange object, experts finally gave up and turned to the internet this week in hopes that someone might have an answer. And sure enough, the mystery was quickly solved.

Ancient artifact the object is not. In fact, for just $400, you too can own an “Isis Beamer harmonizer.” Made by a German company called Weber that specializes in New Age talismans and other “bioenergetic products,” the “Isis Beamer” comes in a variety of sizes and is advertised as possibly being able to “harmonize geopathic and electromagnetic radiation fields” in a radius of up to almost 40 feet.

A silly as this turned out to be, the Antiquities Authority’s response is pretty understandable. According to Hasson, some researchers believe that treasures and artifacts from ancient Jewish temples are scattered and buried throughout the Valley of the Cross in western Jerusalem, so it’s not completely unbelievable that someone could have uncovered an unknown artifact. The "Isis Beamer," however, unfortunately isn't one of them.

About Danny Lewis

Danny Lewis is a multimedia journalist working in print, radio, and illustration. He focuses on stories with a health/science bent and has reported some of his favorite pieces from the prow of a canoe. Danny is based in Brooklyn, NY.

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