Israeli teen discovers ancient ‘magical mirror’ at archaeological site

2,000 year old mirror with special engravement believed to protect against the “Evil Eye” found in northern Israel by 17-year-old.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli high school student discovered an ancient mirror dating back nearly 2,000 years at a site in northern Israel while participating in an outdoor trip for youth group leaders.

Seventeen-year-old Aviv Weizman from the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin was one of around 500 participants in an Education Ministry-sponsored program, which took students on a weeklong hike across northern Israel.

During the trip, students had the opportunity to participate in archaeological excavations alongside professionals from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Weizman found the mirror while digging at Usha, a site just a few kilometers away from her hometown.

“The fragment is part of a ‘magical mirror’ from the Byzantine period, the 4th–6th centuries CE. A glass mirror, for protection against the Evil Eye was placed in the middle of the plaque,” Navit Popovitch, curator of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Classical Period division, said in a statement.

“The idea was that the evil spirit, such as a demon, who looked in the mirror, would see his own reflection, and this would protect the owner of the mirror,” Popovich added.

“Similar mirror plaques have been found in the past as funerary gifts in tombs, in order to protect the deceased in their journey to the world to come.”

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Eli Escusido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, noted that Weizman wasn’t the only participant to discover an ancient artifact in recent days.

“During the week-long trek, the young leaders made additional finds, including pottery jars, coins, decorated stone fragments, and even a water aqueduct,” Escusido said.

“History, which is usually taught in the classroom, comes to life from the ground up. A student who uncovers a find in the course of an excavation will never forget the experience. There is no better way to bond the youth to the land and our heritage.”