Lifeguard Finds Ancient Oil Lamp on Ashkelon Beach


During his regular morning run on the beach in Ashkelon, lifeguard Meir Amshik found an oil lamp believed by archaeologists to be about 900 years old.

“During the run I saw some planks had washed up from the sea, and I stopped to pick them up,” Amshik told Ynet. “Suddenly, I saw that a new section of the cliff started deteriorating. I made my way there and saw the intriguing oil lamp lying there in its entirety. I thought it might be an ancient relic, so I picked it up. I went back to the lifeguard tower and…contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).”

Guy Fitoussi of the IAA’s Robbery Prevention Unit came right away to inspect the find. He praised Amshik, saying “The lifeguards of the Nature and Parks Authority, and lifeguards in general, are our eyes on the beach. They are not just saving people, but also relics.”

Sa’ar Ganor, an archaeologist in the IAA’s Ashkelon District, said that “the lamp dates back to the 12th century. You can really see the signs of wear and soot on the mouth of the oil lamp.

“The oil lamp was discovered, probably, as a result of the receding of the coastal cliff, which is battered by the forces of nature throughout the year,” Ganor added.