In Jerusalem, a 2,000-year-old bell rings again

July 24, 2011 - 10:58 AM
Mideast Israel Palestinians Ancient Bell

A gold bell is displayed at the offices of IAA, Israel's Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 24, 2011. The tiny golden bell preserved for two millennia underneath Jerusalem is ringing again, having been discovered by Israeli archaeologists excavating a Roman-era sewer. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A sound last heard 2,000 years ago is audible again. A tiny golden bell preserved in a Roman-era sewer underneath Jerusalem's Old City has been recovered by Israeli archaeologists.

The tiny orb, just one centimeter in diameter, was likely an ornament on the clothes of a wealthy resident. The Book of Exodus mentions tiny golden bells sewn onto the hem of the robes of Temple priests, though it was not known if this bell was one of those.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority says the bell likely fell off and rolled into the sewer as its owner walked by.

Shukron said it was a "very rare" find.

When he shook the bell Sunday, it emitted a faint metallic sound between a clink and a rattle.