An amateur team of Chilean volunteer archaeologists discovered an ancient bronze incense shovel and matching jug at an excavation site in Magdala, in April 2016. The ornate items are believed to have been used in religious rituals at the Second Temple, as storage containers for incense and coals. Dina Avshalom-Gorni, chief archaeologist assigned to the excavation by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, stated that “we know that these are certainly sacred tools... It’s a rare and exciting find.” Ten similar ancient bronze incense shovels have been discovered all around Israel in recent years.
Excavations at the Magdala site began in 2009, and the dig site is open to the public. There is an open-air museum near Magdala, as a compliment to the live archaeological project taking place.
Source: Zeff, Michael. “2,000-year-old bronze artifacts tied to temple unearthed near Sea of Galilee” YNet News, (April 6, 2016);