Copper Plates Baffle Archaeologists

First discovered during a survey two years ago, four disk-shaped copper plates found by archaeologists near the ancient site of Hippos-Sussita just east of the Sea of Galilee continue to mystify them.

Now, archaeologists involved in the ongoing excavations at the site are reaching out to scholars and the public alike to help them find the answer to the riddle.

“They were found in the Hippos necropolis during several surveys”, says Israeli archaeologist Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, Israel. He directs the Hippos Excavation Project, which has uncovered remarkably well-preserved monumental remains and artifacts at this ancient mountaintop Greco-Roman city, a site that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. “None were found during excavation, but all were found very near to robbed and open graves. It was Dr. Alexander Iermolin, conservator from the institute of Haifa, who first found the pieces during a metal detector survey. They were totally ignored even by us as at first glance they look rather modern.”

The disk-shaped plates (see image below), about 20 cm in diameter and found at the necropolis hill located 300 m south of Hippos, feature what appear to be incisions in a decorative pattern on what has been interpreted as their inner sides, with clear marks of nails and a hole in the middle of each.

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