Six-Year-Old Visits Historic Site, Then Finds Bronze Age Treasure

Treasure Find

There it is! He ran over as fast as his little legs could carry him. He landed on his knees and picked it up. Rubbing the dirt off it, he began to make out an image. 

Something was on it. Something he had never seen before. He giggled, hugging his piece of treasure, but what he found was much more valuable than he could even comprehend. 

A Boy Named Imri Elya

Even at his young age, six-year-old, Imri Elya, has always shown an interest in nature and history. His parents explain how he would often get distracted during conversations by looking at objects in the ground. And today was no different.

Elya was touring with his parents through the Kibbuz Re’im archeological site in southern Israel when he stumbled across the find of a lifetime.

A Long Drive

It was a long day. They had to drive a long distance to reach their destination site so they were all feeling a little tired. Especially six-year-old Elya, who couldn’t wait to get out of the car and start adventuring into the great outdoors. 

But when Elya stepped out of the car, what he found kept him frozen in place. 

An Overwhelming Site

The site was huge. There were so many places that could be hiding treasure. But what alarmed Elya most was that there were so many areas of ground dug up already. 

As he looked around at all the people looking for the same treasure he was looking for, he felt sad. He thought they’d find it first or that they already have. But they didn’t find anything. 

Kicking Dirt

Sullen, Elya walked around with his parents. Head down, eyes low, he kicked the dirt as he walked. If only he had a map, he thought. 

But he didn’t have one, and he didn’t even bring a shovel. How was he going to dig up the big holes like the ones he saw in the ground without a shovel. He kicked the dirt again, harder this time, but something went wrong. 

A Curios Object

Elya kicked the dirt and stubbed his big toe. He looked back to see the culprit. Something odd was sticking out of the ground where he kicked. 

Leaving his parents, he walked back towards it. Curios, he bent down to have a closer look. Just as he reached out his hand to touch it, he heard his parents calling him. 

Pulled Apart 

He ignored them as he often does when he’s distracted by nature. His mom scurries back to him. All too familiar with his aloof behavior, she knows she needs to take his hand and drag him along. 

Elya has the weird object in his hands. Just as he’s about to lift it higher, his mom grabs his hand, throwing the object into the direction of someone else. 

Mom's Rules

Elya pleads with his mom. He tries to explain that he found treasure, real treasure, and that he has to go back and find it. 

But Elya is six years old. Why would any adult respond seriously to a treasure conversation from a six-year-old. Nonetheless, Elya is persistent, he knows his age is against him and so, he does this. 

Earnest Plea

With a serious tone, Elya asks his mom to stop walking for a minute. He explains that he loved the rock he found and really wants it to be his friend because it’s his treasure. 

His mom had never heard Elya speak so earnestly, maturely and funnily. Finding the adorable aspect in all of this, she felt bad as she didn’t realise how much the treasure meant to him. They walked back, but it wasn’t there.

A Frantic Search

Together, they searched, but they couldn’t find it. His mom gave up, explaining that people have been walking on this path so it might be lost. But Elya was determined. 

He searched every patch of dirt, using the same technique he used when he found it first - kicking. Just as Elya was about to give up hope, he spotted something in the distance.

Told You So

His treasure. Excited, he ran over to the unassuming object as fast as his little legs could carry him. He landed on his knees and picked it up. 

He ran back to his mom, who was now joined by his father and gave it to them to examine. Shocked, they looked down at Elya. What he found was much more valuable than he could even comprehend. 

An Ancient Tablet

Elya found a small rare artifact from somewhere between the 12th and 15th century BCE. That means this object is around 3,500 years old! 

The small, square clay object is likely made by a Canaanite in the Late Bronze Age and features two figures engraved on the surface. This detail makes it extremely rare and the oldest artifact to be found on the site. But what is it exactly? 

Fashion Statement

These small tablets were often worn on the belts of soldiers after a victorious battle or set into pieces of furniture for guests to admire. 

However, what makes this find even more interesting is the story itself that the two figures ingrained into the clay depict. It’s a story of valour and victory lost in time.

Stories Lost In Time

The image depicts two men, on the left is the captor looking strong and commanding as he walks arm in arm with his prisoner, on the right. The prisoner looks skinny and humiliated with his hands behind his back.

The scene is taken from descriptions of victory parades which portray the ruler’s power over his enemies. 

A Worthy Explorer!

Instead of keeping this incredible find to himself, Imri Elya decided to give it to the Israeli Antiquities Authority for safekeeping.

The Israeli government and IAA then awarded six-year-old Elya for his kindness with a Good Citizen’s Award. With his exciting discovery and well-deserved reward, we’re sure that Elya would make a great archaeologist one day!