When Gan Erez was 10 years old and lived in the United States as part of a mission his parents carried out, he saw people with a special device beeping and asked his father what it was.
"I insisted and convinced my parents to buy me a metal detector as a gift," he says, "and since then metal discovery has become a hobby and even a profession for me."
And when you add to that another great love of mine - history, the road to discovering historical treasures, and especially military ones, the road is short.
"I am a master of metal detection," says Erez (50), a resident of Jaffa who markets metal detectors.
In recent years he has taken his love in new directions: "In the last two or three years I have started to take the whole issue of metal discovery in a social direction and for the sake of the country and its heritage.
He created a group of volunteers on WhatsApp called "MainLab Israel", which currently has hundreds of members, all history lovers and metal detectors.
Together they embark on extensive searches in historical battlefields and wars that have been waged across the country.
Reality in Camp 87 of the British Army in the Pardes Hanna area, Photo: Gan Erez
Gan Erez and the metal detector, Photo: Gan Erez
"In the Ben Shemen youth village," he says, "for example, we found an old 1900-year-old coin of King Agrippa. Despite what they went through. Everyone knows Camp 80 right? So next to it, near Pardes Hanna, there is the British 87 camp, where we found hundreds of items, including the waters of a British soldier from 80 years ago. " .
In 1917 a battle of call took place in the Ness Ziona area between the New Zealand cavalry which was annexed to the Egyptian army against the army of the Ottoman Empire.
Erez and the other members of the group also found interesting findings there, when the New Zealand ambassador to Israel also joined the search.
"We were in a battlefield, which was the last cavalry battle in history and we found dozens of items, including ammunition of all kinds and hooves of the horses that fought there."
Finds in the area of the British siege of Givat Haim, Photo: Gan Erez
Ottoman metal vessels found in Moshav Bnei Atarot, Photo: Gan Erez
Erez points out that he has also recently been approached by people whose loved ones have disappeared years ago and whose traces have since disappeared.
"There are 600 citizens in the country who have disappeared from the country and never found them. So people ask me to look for items that may hint at their whereabouts. We of course accede to the requests and do our best to provide them with even a shred of information and hope."
The garden already has a number of places to search for, including the agricultural farm of Aharon Aharonson, brother of the heroine of Nili Sarah Aharonson, located in Atlit and then the area of Kibbutz Ramat David. A score for the paratroopers as part of the parachuting course she took. "
Members of the "Mainlab Israel" group, Photo: Gan Erez
"When I find a new place that may be fertile ground for exploration, I update the group members and usually 20-30 volunteers arrive at the search stage. For discovering the historical items, some members of the group often received a certificate of exemplary citizenship. "
The hooves of New Zealand horses from a reading study, Photo: Gan Erez
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