A mysterious object that baffled experts at the Israeli Antiquities Authority for nearly six months has been identified thanks to social media-based crowdsourcing efforts, and ironically the item in question did not even turn out to be a rare and valuable historical relic. Bummer.
According to NBC News, the shiny, oddly-shaped gold object was discovered at a cemetery in Jerusalem. It was described as being shaped like a rolling pin and weighed nearly 19 pounds (8.5 kilograms), but exactly what the object was and what it was used for was unknown.
In fact, after it was first discovered by a maintenance worker, there were concerns that it might be an explosive device of some sort. A bomb squad was called to detonate the object, which was ultimately unharmed by the controlled blast, and the plot thickened.
“To tell you the truth I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Amir Ganor, who heads up the IAA’s robbery prevention unit, told NBC News. He even joked that it was possible that “aliens had landed from outer space and brought the object” with them.
It’s a ‘gilded Isis Beamer,’ which isn’t as cool as it sounds
Ganor and his colleagues took the object to a jeweler, who examined and X-rayed it. He found that the item was solid metal and coated in 24-carat gold, but beyond that, his analysis offered no clues as to its origin or potential use. Puzzled, IAA officials turned to Facebook.
In a post, they asked followers if they had any idea what the item was. Ultimately, as the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday, one Italian man identified the object as something called a “gilded Isis Beamer,” which may sound like something that would be a valuable artifact. But it’s not.
In reality, the golden object is a modern, New Age-type device designed to provide people with energy, harmony, and healing. The item is sold online by a German company called Weber. It can be used at home or while traveling and is designed to help “naturopaths” with “energy healing”, reports indicate. It is one of several “bio-energy systems” sold by Weber.
IAA officials told NBC News that they hoped that whoever was responsible for hiding the object in the cemetery would “contact us and inform us why it was buried in an ancient structure and to whom of the dead they wished to give positive energy.”