History

Rare Bronze Incense Shovel Found in Israel

The shovel and a bronze jug were unearthed at a site called Magdala, a large Jewish settlement that dates to about 2000 years ago.

On the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, archaeologists report that they have uncovered a rare decorated bronze incense shovel and bronze jug.

The artifacts were unearthed at a site called Magdala, a large Jewish settlement that dates to about 2000 years ago- the Early Roman period- where archaeologists have already discovered ancient streets, ritual baths, a marketplace, a mosaic-floored synagogue, and the famous Magdala stone.

Great Archaeological Discoveries Ahead: Photos

"The incense shovel that was found is one of ten others that are known in the country from the Second Temple period," Dina Avshalom-Gorni, chief archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement.

The incense shovel could have been used for rituals, like handling embers used in ceremonies, but it also might have had a practical, daily use as well, Avshalom-Gorni said. Both the shovel and the bronze jug were found on the floor of a storehouse, near the site's docks, and could have been a family's heirlooms.

Byzantine Monastery And Mosaics Found In Israel

Arfan Najar, an archaeologist with Israel Antiquities Authority, referred to the incense shovel as "a very rare find." Similar shovels have been found in other locations in Israel, she said.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, Magdala- the ancient site where artifacts were uncovered- once served as a military base in the Jewish-Roman conflict, and in the Christian tradition, it's known as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.

More from FoxNews.com:

Christian saint's bones unearthed in monastery destroyed by ISIS Curse tablets discovered in 2,400-year-old grave At Venus, a Japanese spacecraft is almost ready for big science Article originally appeared on FoxNews.com.

The incense shovel is shown after being cleaned.

Have the most important temples, tombs, pyramids, cities, and civilizations been found? Not at all, according to Peter B. Campbell, director of archaeology at the Albanian Center for Marine Research. "The greatest age of discovery is happening right now. And the real fun is just about to begin," Campbell said.

Machu Picchu was not known to the outside world until 1911, but what lost cities are awaiting discovery today? Three ancient Mayan cities were recently discovered and researchers say they think more are in the surrounding area.

Photos: The Hunt for Lost Cities

Decades of underwater research have provided us with a good understanding of our maritime past. But there has been one looming gap: ancient warships. After years of searching, the site of the Battle of the Egadi Islands, the decisive climax to the First Punic War, was discovered off the coast of Sicily. The site has yielded 11 warship rams, as the one depicted in this picture, as well as armament and amphoras (container vases) that were meant to resupply Hamilcar Barca's forces, Hannibal's father.

Photos: Biggest Shipwreck Finds in History

A small village in Greece might be home to the greatest discovery of the new century. The largest ancient tomb ever found in Greece has been dated to the period of Alexander the Great. A 16-foot lion statue sits atop the tomb and two sphinxes guard an entrance bricked up with granite blocks weighing a ton each. As the excavation progresses, archaeologists have uncovered two incredible female caryatid statues, mosaic floors and three chambers.

Greek Tomb's Female Sculptures Fully Revealed

The list of findings from the last few years goes on and on and includes Captain Kidd's shipwreck. The wreckage of Quedagh Merchant, the ship abandoned by the 17th century pirate Captain William Kidd as he raced to New York in an ill-fated attempt to clear his name, was found in less than 10 feet of Caribbean seawater by a team from Indiana University.

Most Famous Pirates of the Caribbean

Unique findings include a Gate to Hell in Hierapoils, in southwestern Turkey, complete with animals that died from getting too close. Known as Pluto's Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.

Photos: 'Gate to Hell' Guardians Found

While 17 new pyramids were discovered in Egypt in 2011 alone, using infrared satellite technology, a previously unknown pharaoh named Woseribre Senebkay and the necropolis of his dynasty were found earlier this year.

Long-Lost Pyramids Found?

There are many unrecorded conquerors, battles and Romeo and Juliets in the vastness of prehistory whose stories are waiting to be told. Prehistoric finds like Hoyo Negro's earliest American, the Hobbit-like species

Homo floresiensis

and insight into the first artists suggest the best stories may await discovery.

New Fossils Help Bring Hobbit Humans to Life