JERUSALEM – Facebook users helped Israel's Antiquities Authority this week identify a mysterious gilded object once thought to be an ancient Jewish relic as a modern New Age device.
Director of theft prevention Amir Ganor told the Associated Press police alerted his office six months ago to a gold scepter with seven grooves found in a Jerusalem cemetery.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the maintenace worker who found the device was initially concerned that it was some sort of explosive. He called the police, who in turn called in a bomb squad to conduct a controlled explosion. The object was undamaged.
Ganor says his office x-rayed the scepter and analyzed its materials. He mused whether it was used in the biblical Jewish Temples. Experts did not recognize it.
"At first we thought it was a military object, but then began to dream. I have been in this business for a long time and cannot recall such a mystery," Gaynor told the paper.
With no further ideas, the Authority posted a picture on Facebook and one of 300 responders identified the object: It's a Weber Isis Beamer, a German device that claims to create "a protective field" against radiation.
Haaretz reported that the objects are sold online in various sizes for up 120 euros ($131). The firm promises they will "ensure energy harmony" at home, at work and when traveling.
"The wisdom of the masses has done its part," the Authority said Tuesday. What the object was doing in the cemetery remains a mystery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.