Students of the Melach Ha-Aretz preparatory program who were part of an archaeological dig found rifle cartridges and shell fragments from World War I in an Israeli city.
The discoveries, made between Rosh Ha-ʽAyin and the Afek Industrial Park, were from the British and Ottoman armies. The first discovery came from a member of the Melach Ha-Aretz pre-military preparatory program, who was part of the dig.
"Yitzhak Kalontarov approached me curiously with an artifact in his hand," Yossi Elisha, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a press release. "I was surprised to discover that it was a rifle cartridge, and I was even more surprised when it turned out to be a World War I cartridge. As archaeologists, we expect to discover ancient finds from hundreds and thousands of years ago, whereas here we have a relatively 'young' one hundred year old artifact, but we were all drawn to the fascinating story of the battle."
In addition, the dig uncovered a variety of military items, as well as two military outposts used by the Ottoman army. Part of a British army cap insignia was discovered at one of the outposts, along with bullets and cartridges from the Ottoman army.
Elisha added that the findings provide "evidence of one of the major battles that was fought in Palestine between the British forces and the Turkish forces during the First World War."
Historians have noted the Battle of Megiddo took place near the site, which occured on Sept. 19, 1918.
The Ottoman Empire was part of the Central Powers in World War I, along with Germany, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary. It is responsible for attacking Russia's Black Sea in late October 1914, with Russia declaring war on the Empire just a few days later. It was defeated in 1918 and the Ottoman Empire was ultimately dissolved in 1921.