During January 2007, a passerby found a scarab on a path in the northern part of Tel Gerisa, (Napoleon Hill;map ref. 182438–535/667028–070), which had probably been exposed by the rains. Thanks are due to D. Sweeney (consultation), A. Gorzalczany (photography) and H. Ben Ari (GPS).
Tel Gerisa (c. 40 dunams) is situated on the border of the cities Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, on the southern bank of the Yarqon River (Fig. 1). Its ancient name is unknown and its present name is derived from the Arab village Jarisha, which was located in the area. B. Mazar proposed to identify the tell with the biblical site of Gat Rimon and with Gat (Kannat), which appears in the list of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III. Numerous archaeological excavations had been carried out on the tell: from 1927 to 1950 by E.L. Sukenik (License No. T-50/1927), in 1976 by S. Geva (HA 61-62:25–26 [Hebrew]), and from 1981 to 1995 by Z. Herzog (ESI 15:60–62).
The remains uncovered in these excavations ranged in date from the third millennium BCE to the end of the first millennium CE and included a system of fortifications and a settlement from the Middle Bronze Age, monumental buildings from the Iron Age and building remains from the Early Islamic period.
During the course of the excavations several scarabs that dated to Middle Bronze Age II and the Late Bronze Age were found.
The scarab (length 1.7 cm, width 0.25 cm, thickness 0.5 cm; Fig. 2) is made of ivory and the image of a walking lion is carved on its face. An object decorated on the inside with an incised net pattern is discerned below the lion’s chin; this is probably an insignificant mark used by the artist to fill the space.
The scarab is dated to Middle Bronze Age IIB, based on its style. The lion motif is a common design on scarabs of the Bronze Age. It appears on Canaanite scarabs of the early phases of the Middle Bronze Age and was probably initially influenced by the cylinder seals from Syria. Examples of lions portrayed on scarabs have been found at Jericho (Group III), Tell el-Far‘a (South), Lachish, Gezer and Tell el-Ajjul.
Although the scarab was not found in any archaeological context, it further evinces the relations and cultural influence between the Land of Israel and Egypt during this period.