Three clay jugs filled with 3,000-year-old gold and silver jewelry have been discovered in northern Israel, a government archaeologist disclosed Thursday, putting to rest rumors of a theft of ancient treasure.
The jugs, 3 inches high and filled with about 30 ounces of earrings and ingots, were discovered six months ago by the team of Yardena Alexander of the Israel's Antiquities Authority.
Ms. Alexander, chief archaeologist of lower Galilee, said her team found the treasure near the town of Yoqneam, beneath the stone floor of a building dating to 1,000 B.C., the time of King Solomon.
The archaeologists opened one jug, expecting dirt, she said Thursday. Instead, bits of gold and silver spilled out. Curious about the contents of the other two jugs, she brought them to a dental technician to X-ray.
"I didn't tell him much since the dig was still going on," she said.
Suspicious, the technician telephoned an Israeli newspaper about the find. Agents from the authority's robbery unit began an investigation into the suspected "theft."
Ms. Alexander said the trove was in a safe in Jerusalem and was not expected to be exhibited soon.