The Temple Mount Sifting Project recently announced the discovery of a gold granule bead dating back to the Iron-Age. The cylindrical bead measures 6mm in diameter and 4mm in height, and is constructed of four layers, each consisting of tiny gold balls attached to one another. The Co-Director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, Dr. Gabriel Barkay, recalled that several almost-identical silver beads were found at Ketif Hinom. Similar gold beads were also found at Megiddo, at Tel el-Ajjul and at Tel el-Farah, in layers dated to the 12th to 9th centuries BC. Finding gold jewelry outside of graves or treasure troves is rare in Israel; in antiquity, gold jewelry was only worn by the rich, and not by the common people. Scholars are unsure of the purpose of the bead, and whether it was worn by a wealthy person visiting the First Temple or by one of the important priests.
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