Adornment and satisfying the wearer's vanity are only two of the contributions jewelry makes to an individual's well-being. Some pieces of jewelry, many of them shaped like deities, their attribute animals, or symbols, are at the same time meant to protect the individual and to demonstrate one's piety. Jewelry shaped like flowers or fruit reflects the time-honored use of plants as personal ornament, as well as the symbolic significance of their shape or divine associations (e.g., McGovern, 1985). The materials (gold=sun, silver=moon) usually are also weighted with symbolic significance. When worn, jewelry also serves to express human difference/inequality (see below). Lastly, jewelry is an investment, and in precoinage times (and later) could be used as money: many types have a standard weight and gold/silver content, their value being enhanced by fine work, whether viewed as personal effects or as money.

In the ancient Near East and elsewhere, the craving to bedeck oneself with jewels transcended gender. Excavated finds on skeletal remains of known gender, as well as artistic representations, reveal that by their appearance alone it is seldom possible to distinguish women's jewels from those of men (Marcus, 1993, p. 170). This may, at least in part, be an archaeological optical illusion: common sense suggests, and ample ethnological studies illustrate, that jewelry—along with other personal ornaments and accessories, clothing, and tattooing—did express differences, of wealth, gender, family and social status, official function, and ethnos (cf. Marcus, 1993), and that some of it was intended for special occasions such as weddings and festivals. Possessed of emotions and desires on a majestic scale, many gods display a knack for jewelry no less than that of mortals.

Jewelry is found least in habitational contexts—that is, on the floors; exceptions to this rule occur chiefly in cases of violent destruction not followed by plundering (Marcus, 1993, p. 159). Most jewelry is found in tombs, foundation deposits, temple favissae, or hoards.

While in the former three its function is plain enough, there are several possibilities for the preburial role of jewelry from hoards. It is often impossible to decide whether the pieces in a hoard belong to a jeweler/trader or are the property of a customer. Intact jewelry pieces may be identified as finished products/stock-in-trade of the former, and as personal ornaments or money of the latter. Broken jewelry pieces may be identified as spare parts/recyclables of the former, and as money of the latter.

Unfortunately, the archaeological context does not always permit one to distinguish a foundation deposit from a hoard, which might have been hidden in the face of danger. When it can be distinguished, a hoard will not only afford chronological, technological, and typological insight; it might offer an opportunity for economic interpretation (Balmuth, 1976; Curtis, 1984).

In Mesopotamia, archaeologists have unearthed the splendid jewelry of the third-millennium royal tombs of Ur; Egypt, in addition to the grave goods of Tutankhamun, has yielded a sizable sample of second-millennium and early first-millennium BCE royal jewelry. Students of ancient Palestinian jewelry have to content themselves with a far more modest corpus. In another contrast with Egypt there is hardly any piece that can be regarded as funerary in origin. Representational art (e.g. Neo-Assyrian reliefs) and textual mentions (like in Ex. 39 and Is. 3:18–24) complement the picture and lend it perspective.

Materials, Techniques, and Tools.

The first known gold, usually considered to be of Egyptian origin (for a modest local source exploited much later, Wadi Ṭawaḥin near Eilat, see Wolff, 1993, pp. 160–162), appears in Palestine in the Chalcolithic period. Copper, thought to have been mined locally at Feinan and Timna῾, makes its appearance in Palestine in the same period. Silver, probably coming from Anatolia, is first found in jewelry of the Early Bronze I period (see Prag, 1978). Bronze makes its debut in jewelry, as well as in tools and weapons, in the Middle Bronze I period (see Eisenberg, 1985). Iron was not a popular metal in jewelry making; personal ornaments in this metal belong chiefly to the early Iron II.

Stones were valued chiefly for their colors, not because they refracted light (precious stones, such as diamonds and rubies, were not yet used). Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and turquoise from Sinai, so popular in Egypt—the former also in Mesopotamia—were rare in Palestine. Carnelian (quartz with iron minerals, from the surrounding sandstone deserts) was used abundantly in Palestine in beads from the late Neolithic onward. Other quartzes, such as amethyst (quartz with manganese minerals, from near Aswan, Egypt), are found less frequently from the EB I onward. Animal and plant products were always available locally and were in use as jewelry long before the Chalcolithic period—such as wood, Mediterranean and Red Sea shells, ostrich-egg shell, and bone (e.g., in the PPNB Naḥal Ḥemar cave, Bar-Yosef and Alon, 1988, pp. 19–20). Elephant ivory, coming from Egypt and possibly Syria, and hippopotamus ivory, available also locally, was used in Palestine since the Chalcolithic, and amber since the Late Bronze. The source of the latter seems to be the Baltic region, probably attesting to indirect trade, with Greece the last leg of the relay before Syria-Palestine; the local amber product was of low quality (Todd, 1985; Bass, 1986, p. 286; Harding, 1987; Pulak, 1988, pp. 24–25; Sherratt, 1995).

Manufactured materials used in jewelry production included the alkaline glaze on “soapstone” beads, known since the Chalcolithic period; glazed faience (since EB I); and glass (since MB IIA; cf. McGovern et al., 1991, and the section on MB IIA below). Glass, like stones, was valued for its colors. A twelfth-century BCE sizable glass ingot discovered at Ashdod may attest to the local manufacture.

Innovative methods and technological breakthroughs in metallurgy are detectable in jewelry. In the Chalcolithic period, soldering and lost wax casting were introduced; since EB II–III (and possibly earlier) chasing and repoussé are employed to enhance pieces; in the MB IIB granulation, which depended on fine soldering, and cloisonné techniques appear in Palestine for the first time (on granulation see Hoffmann and Davidson, 1965, p. 46; Carroll, 1974); filigree is found rarely since the LB period, like gilding in Iron II (the exact technique for the latter is still unclear).

Jewelers used drills, anvils (Potts, 1985, p. 186), chasing hammers, doming blocks, and drawplates; the latter two are still missing from the archaeological record of Palestine, but hardstone beads are a possible alternative for drawplates. Also employed were stone dies for impressing a pattern into sheet metal, and stone molds (distinguishable by their pouring channels from dies) were probably used only for casting wax in the lost-wax technique. The finest soldering was done employing a brazier and blowpipe (documented in Egyptian tomb paintings of jewelers).

Chalcolithic Period.

Until the fifth millennium (pre-Ghassulian cultures) jewelry finds consist mostly of beads and pendants, such as the carnelian, garnet and other stone beads from Kabri in Israel. From the Ghassulian Chalcolithic heavy gold rings (ingots?) were found in the Naḥal Qana cave (Gopher et al., 1990), which is roughly contemporary with the elite cemetery at Varna (Bulgaria), and its gold jewelry. Although no jewelry was recovered in the Naḥal Mishmar “Cave of the Treasure,” there was ample evidence among the metal objects discovered for sophisticated soldering and the lost-wax technique (Shalev et al., 1992, 1993; Tadmor et al., 1995). A double-spiral wire pendant was discovered within a small copper hoard at Neve Noy near Beersheba, closely related to the Naḥal Mishmar finds (Baumgarten and Eldar, 1985; Negbi, 1976, pl. 47, shows how it was worn). A pendant with the same double-spiral motif in relief was found at Biq῾at ῾Uvda in the southern Negev desert (Avner, 1984, pl. 16:2). This motif was widespread in the ancient Near East and in Old Europe and was probably related to fertility (Keel, 1987). An ivory hairpin surmounted by a bird was found among other ivories of Egyptian inspiration at Beersheba (Perrot, 1955, pp. 171–172, pl. 22B), and there is a similar example from Shiqmim. Unique among the finds from Palestine is a beadwork purse(?) from a cave in Naḥal Ṣe῾elim in the Judean Desert, made of white- and blue-glazed stone beads (Aharoni, 1961, p. 15, pl. 7A). Bracelets, of a type found also around much of the Indian Ocean rim, cut from Red Sea shells like Lambis truncata sabae, continue from the Chalcolithic (Levy and Alon, 1985, pp. 129–130) into the EB (Schaub and Rast, 1989, pp. 310–312).

Early Bronze Age.

Among the rare gold finds from the EB I are wire spiral hair(?) rings (also found in electrum and silver) from tombs at Azor (Ben-Tor, 1975, p. 24; and excavation by A. Druks, exhibited in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, unpublished), and a wire ring (earring?) and seamless, seemingly soldered tube from Tell en-Naṣbeh. Some of the earliest silver finds from the Levant are a pin (hairpin?), unearthed in an EB I tomb at Bab edh-Dhra῾ in Jordan (Schaub and Rast, 1989, pp. 312–313), and the items from Azor just mentioned. From a tomb at Azor two oblate amethyst beads (finished Egyptian imports) were among the twelve hundred beads found (Ben-Tor, 1975, p. 23). From an EB I tomb at Tell el-Assawir and from a contemporary domestic context at ῾Ein-Besor come Egyptian or egyptianizing Ram's(?)-head pendant beads (Gophna, 1980, p. 15, pl. III:4). Faience beads were recovered in quantity from EB I tombs, e.g. at Jericho, that may have been produced locally.


JEWELRY. Figure 1. Gold, silver, and carnelian beads. From an EB tomb at Kinneret, near the Sea of Galilee. (IAA 41.488, 41.498, 41.500, 41.501, 41.503, 41.516; courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Splendid isolated EB II–III finds hint at the richness and diversity of the jeweler's craft. In an unexpected find-spot, a modest habitational site at out-of-the-way ῾Ein ha-Me῾ara in the western Negev, were discovered three drop-shaped, hollow, gold pendant-beads (exact date within the EB uncertain; Haiman, 1989, p. 180), with comparable finds but not exact parallels in Egypt. In a late EB II or early EB III tomb excavated in 1941 at Kinneret, a locality on the Sea of Galilee, the finds include a repoussé gold disk, of uncertain use, and beads attesting to the advanced technology of the day: hollow cylinders with closed ends, thick ones whose soldering is visible and thin ones that may have covered now-decayed faience beads; tubular carnelian beads with gold caps and a band (with comparisons in contemporary Egypt and Mesopotamia); and a barrel-shaped electrum(?) bead with what may be hammered-on gold caps (Mazar et al., 1973; Amiran, 1993; see figure 1). Similar material—cylindrical gold beads and two repoussé gold plaques—was recovered from an EB III charnel house at Bab edh-Dhra῾ (Rast and Schaub, 1987, p. 48; Schaub and Rast, 1989, pp. 468–469). The jewelry from Kinneret was believed to show Anatolian inspiration, but when considered together with the Bab edh-Dhra῾ finds local origins are suggested. Three star-shaped spacer beads were found at Jericho in Tomb A (Garstang, 1932, pl. XXII); it is not clear whether they are local or imported. An ivory hairpin surmounted by an animal shape was found at Megiddo, stratum XVIII (Loud, 1948, pl. 201). Although granulation and cloisonné are known in third-millennium Mesopotamia, and cloisonné is known in contemporary Egypt, these two techniques are unknown in the EB II–III Levant. Nor are finger rings found in the region before the MB I.

Middle Bronze I.

In this period bronze is introduced and is employed inter alia in jewelry and personal accessories, such as toggle pins. In fact the latter, used to fasten garments, made their debut in this period—in Mesopotamia toggle pins are found already in the Early Dynastic III period. MB I toggle pins made of bronze come, for instance, from ῾Einan. At the same site copper bracelets were found in situ on a woman's arm, as were finger rings, two of them in situ on the middle finger of a woman's right hand, and spiral hair rings (Eisenberg, 1985, pp. 71–72). An MBI copper diadem was found on the skull in a tomb at Jericho (Kenyon, 1965, fig. 41:8), and an amethyst bead, a rare Egyptian import, at Ma῾abarot (Dar, 1977, pp. 35–37). A silver bracelet was unearthed in a tomb of the same period at Hazorea῾ (Meyerhof, 1989, p. 106, pl. 37), a very rare find in this metal besides the celebrated ῾Ain es-Samiyeh goblet (Tadmor, 1986, 100–102).

Middle Bronze IIA.

The MB IIA royal tombs at Byblos revealed the first Syro-Palestinian gold granulation, some of it made into elaborate figural motifs never since repeated (Maxwell-Hyslop, 1971, p. 103). Little jewelry datable to this period was recovered in Palestine. (Aphek in the Sharon, the type-site for the stratigraphy and pottery chronology of the Palestinian MB IIA, yielded hardly any jewelry at all.) The earliest glass find from Palestine belongs to this period: a bead from Tel Dan (Ilan et al., 1993); it is roughly contemporary with the substantial find from Aššur (Wartke, in Harper et al., 1995, pp. 54, 106).


JEWELRY. Figure 2. Three views of a gold and glass earring. From a mid-second-millennium BCE tomb at Megiddo. (IAA 36.196; courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Middle Bronze IIB to Late Bronze I.

Throughout the second millennium gold finds outnumber silver in Syria-Palestine. The richest find in Palestine in the late MB/early LB period and the one that comes nearest to royal jewelry, or, rather, princely jewelry was made at Tell el-῾Ajjul (Negbi, 1970, using outdated chronology; Ziffer, 1990, pp. 54–63 [English], 63–78 [Hebrew]). Egyptian influence, expressed for instance in scarabs mounted in gold and silver and in the use of amethyst (Ziffer, 1990, p. 74), is present amongst the mostly local work of the ῾Ajjul assemblages, much of it exhibiting great skill in execution, such as in the fine granulation. There are partial parallels to the ῾Ajjul material in the princely tombs at Ebla, with a few further comparisons from the Uluburun shipwreck, and at Tell ed-Dab῾a in the eastern Nile Delta. In this period (late MB/early LB) toggle pins became elaborate in design (Ziffer, 1990, p. 71). Crescent pendants, which began as an open form, gradually closed in the course of the Late Bronze Age (Ziffer, 1990, p. 58; Tadmor and Misch-Brandl, 1980, p. 78). Solid crescentic (or “boat”) earrings began to appear then and continued as a popular form for more than a millennium. Legume-shaped sheet-gold earrings from Tell el-῾Ajjul have symbolic significance because of their crescentic shape (Negbi, 1971). One pair was provided with a unique sliding lock (Ziffer, 1990, p. 55). By adding a head and tail, and decorating the crescentic base-form in a semblance of feathers, the same shape was transformed into a bird with outspread, raised wings (Ziffer, 1990, pp. 65 vs. 64), tentatively identified by Tufnell (1983) as a wryneck. Most of these legume-shaped and bird-shaped earrings are decorated with granulation and wire (Lilyquist, 1993). Fly and fly-larva pendant beads (Tadmor, 1986, p. 123 bottom left), and flamboyant glass-inlayed multiple-eye (blue and yellow concentric circles) earrings with rams' heads soldered at the bottom have also been found at Tell el-῾Ajjul (Ziffer, 1990, pp. 56, 66), and a similar pair turned up at Megiddo (see figure 2). Also from ῾Ajjul are neck ornaments or belts made of multiple, hinged parts (Ziffer, 1990, p. 69) and a diadem or choker in the shape of a gold strap with evenly spaced tubes that may have held now-vanished gold flowers (Ziffer, 1990, p. 68, comparable to an intact item from Egypt, ibid., p. 67). In Megiddo was found a complex hinged silver bracelet of the late MB or early LB (Guy and Engberg, 1938, pl. 145:22). Sheet-metal repoussé pendants are rather common in Syria-Palestine, continuing from the MB II well into the LB period: circular examples with a “Cappadocian symbol” or double thunderbolt, the symbol of the storm god (e.g., from late MB Shiloh, Finkelstein and Brandl, 1985, pp. 23–24), or with an eight-pointed star, the symbol of the goddess Ishtar, and drop-shaped pendants with the schematic image of a naked goddess (examples of latter two from Tell el-῾Ajjul, Tadmor, 1986, pp. 123, 125).


JEWELRY. Figure 3. Part of a jewelry hoard. Beth-Shemesh; thirteenth century BCE. Also shown is the ceramic vessel in which the hoard was found. (Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Late Bronze II to Early Iron I.

Just as MB IIB and LB I jewelry are inseparable, so the jewelry items of the fourteenth–twelfth centuries form a fairly coherent group. Jewelry lists were found for instance in Syria in the Ningal Temple at Qatna, and in the Amarna letters. Gold ingots were recovered at Beth-Shean, and bivalve stone molds (see above) for casting several items each—earrings, beads, pin—were found at Hazor stratum XIV (Yadin et al., 1961, pl. 158:31); Tell Abu Hawam stratum V (Hamilton, 1935, p. 58, no. 359); and Beth-Shemesh (Grant, 1931, pl. 13). Jewelry in the Late Bronze Age II reflects a mixture of local types—traditional plus innovative designs—and Egyptian types. Circular and goddess-shaped pendants begin to appear in glass (Megiddo, Lachish, Dan, Tel Mevorakh). Pomegranate-bud pendant earrings with the hoop separate are new, and have as their provenience Deir el-Balaḥ (Dothan, 1979, pp. 74, 76), a hoard from Beth-Shemesh (Tadmor and Misch-Brandl, 1980, p. 77; see figure 3), Tell el-Far῾ah (South), Tel Nami (unpublished), Megiddo, and Ugarit. Beads and pendant-beads in palmette, drop, lotus-seed, and Egyptian nefer (hieroglyph denoting “good[ly]”) shapes, made of gold, carnelian, and faience, and belonging to Egyptian-type necklaces or broad collars, were found at Deir el-Balaḥ (where red-tinted gold was also used; Dothan, 1979, pp. 78–80; Tadmor, 1986, p. 133), Dhahrat el-Humraya, Beth-Shean (Tadmor, 1986, p. 135) and Lachish. Inscribed massive Egyptian-type finger rings in metal, stone, and faience are known from several sites: from ῾Ajjul comes a gold ring with the name of Tutankhamun; in Judur, Aphek, and Azor were discovered finger rings inscribed with good wishes in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Granulation in the LB II is less widespread than in the preceding period; whether this reflects a real decline of the technique or only the chances of discovery cannot be said. One example in silver or electrum, a pair of bracelet centerpieces, comes from Kamid el-Loz (Hachmann, 1983, p. 157); a pair of gold bracelets from the tomb of Tutankhamun constitutes a close parallel (Andrews, 1990, p. 157 right). The earliest known appearance of cloisonné is certainly inspired by Egypt (where this technique is at home), but the jewelry pieces thus made have a possibly local origin: isolated examples have been found at Lachish (Tufnell, 1958, pl. 25:9); Megiddo (Loud, 1948, pl. 224:27); and Kamid el-Loz (Miron, 1990, pp. 45, 168, 171, pl. I). An LB II filigree bead in gold from the Beth-Shemesh hoard is the only local example of this rare technique (Tadmor and Misch-Brandl, 1980, p. 75). The bead has exact parallels in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, Egypt, in a tomb of a daughter of Queen Tawosert (1188–1186 BCE) (Andrews, 1990, p. 127), and from Tell el-῾Ajjul comes an imitation in faience (Petrie 1933, no. 10 on p. 5, pls. 8, 10). Tapering metal-band finger rings in the Hittite style appear at Tell el-Far῾ah (South) (Petrie, 1930, pl. 36; Macdonald et al., 1932, pl. 51) and Tel Nami (Singer, 1993). The earliest-known amber beads in Palestine, of Baltic origin, were found at Tell Abu Hawam and a few other sites in LB II contexts (Sherratt, 1995, p. 202; more references in “materials” section above). In early Iron I, LB traditions initially were continued, as is evidenced, for instance, at Tell el-Far῾ah (South), where Flinders Petrie found a late twelfth- or eleventh-century gold crescent pendant and carnelian lotus-seed beads (Petrie, 1930, pls. 36, 37, 39).

Late Iron I to Early Iron II.

As far as jewelry is concerned this period, the eleventh-ninth centuries, is to be regarded as a continuum. New local jewelry types introduced, perhaps by the Sea Peoples, are known chiefly from the Tell el-Far῾ah (South) cemeteries. Tassel earrings in gold, electrum, silver, and bronze, whose prototype probably was floral (Maxwell-Hyslop, 1971, p. 225, photographs 198, 200), are also known, in addition to Tell el-Far῾ah, from Madaba (Harding, 1953, p. 32, nos. 197–198), Timna῾ (Rothenberg, 1988, pl. 55:15), the Judean Desert (unpublished), and Tawilan, the latter in a sixth-fifth-century context (Bienkowski, 1991, p. 102). Early examples of “basket” earring(?) pendants were unearthed in eleventh–ninth-centuries contexts, an example in gold at Tell el-Far῾ah (South) (Petrie, 1930, pls. 36, 39) and in silver at Beth-Shean; these finds herald the much later Phoenician type (see below). The earliest examples of massive bracelets, armlets and anklets, the latter two distinguished by their size, also appear in late Iron I: iron examples were found at Tell el-Far῾ah (South) and Tell Qasile (Mazar, 1985, p. 8–9).


JEWELRY. Figure 4. Two views of a pair of gold earings. Tell Jemmeh, early first millennium BCE. (IAA J.1006; courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

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Iron I types continued into the Early Iron II, pre-Assyrian period, as noted, and new developments are discernible. At Eshtemoa῾ a silver hoard was recovered (Yeivin, 1990) and at Tell Jemmeh there were silver and gold finds (Petrie, 1928), both apparently from the ninth century. Elongated gold crescent earrings with a herringbone wire decoration and a loop to hold a pendant, the latter now lost, were discovered at Tell Jemmeh (see figure 4), and silver specimens come from Arad and Eshtemoa῾. Other earrings from Tell Jemmeh and elsewhere display a flattened crescentic hoop decorated with a row of granules (Yeivin, 1990, fig. 16:11), and use is made of granulation on items from the Eshtemoa῾ hoard (Yeivin, 1990, fig. 17:7). Iron and bronze bangles were found at Lachish and at other sites, but while the use of the bronze specimens continues, the interest in iron bangles appears eventually to diminish. Subsequently, at Tell el-Mazar, a burial was found with both bracelets and anklets in situ on the skeleton (Yassine, 1984, p. 93). Fibulas, invented in the Late Bronze Age Aegean, began to replace toggle pins in Syria-Palestine in the Early Iron II or perhaps as early as Iron I. Fibulas were also used for securing a seal with a chain, and there is a type of fibula which is cast in one piece with a seal (Curtis, 1994; Curtis, in Curtis and Reade, 1995, p. 174).

Late Iron II.

From this period mostly silver jewelry is found; gold is rare. There appears to be little cloisonné work, though cloisonné decoration of ivory and wood carving is popular. New shapes in jewelry proliferated, displaying Syro-Assyrian and Phoenician as well as local styles. The former is probably the result of Assyrian deportations, certainly of Assyria's imperial rule, and one may be entitled to speak of a Syro-Assyrian koine, encompassing most of the Near East: parallels to jewelry finds from Palestine exist as far afield as Karmir Blur in Urartu. Late Iron II jewelry finds in the southern Levant are mainly from inland sites, e.g., Ketef Hinnom, Kamid el-Loz (Hachmann and Kuschke, 1966), Meqabelein, and Tel ῾Ira. Some types continue into the sixth-fifth centuries, or else are difficult to differentiate; there are, for example, mixed seventh-fifth-centuries tombs in Jerusalem (Ketef Hinnom) and Amman (Adoninur). Abundant use is made of hollow shapes embellished with granulation and wire decoration, mainly in earrings. Cloisonné is found in Amman (the tomb of Adoninur) and Meqabelein in ring bezels. In Palestine, at Tel Miqne/Ekron, a sheet-silver pendant, incised with the images of Ishtar and a worshiper (Gitin, 1995, fig. 4.14), is a provincial rendering of North Syrian work paralleled at Zincirli. Triangular eye beads made of glass, of Assyrian type, were found at Gezer and other sites (Reich and Brandl, 1985, p. 49).

Though artifacts coming from or inspired by Phoenicia are common in Iron II Palestine, Phoenician influence in jewelry (some of it egyptianizing) has been first observed only in work done in the early 1990s on late Iron II finds from the coastal sites of Achziv and Tel Miqne/Ekron (former unpublished, latter in Gitin, 1995, fig. 4.12); inland jewelry shows Syro-Assyrian influence (see above). Parallels to the Miqne and Achziv jewelry come mainly from the Phoenician West. Among the finds are elaborate earrings, including some with multiple pendants (basket and lotus flower), and a rare example of gilding was observed on silver Horus eyes from Miqne. A silver finger ring from the same site, with a hieroglyphic inscription, should be noted. Few Phoenician/egyptianizing finds are also known from inland sites, such as a gold finger ring from Samaria, that has a parallel in a bracelet of Sheshonq found at Tanis. At Achziv a lion-shaped pin-head made of Baltic amber was found (Sherratt, 1995, p. 202; more references in “materials” section above).

Multiple hollow-ball earrings are probably of local inspiration, an offshoot of the MB–LB granule-cluster earrings, unless the Iron Age version was made by Iranian deportees to Palestine—somewhat similar earrings of the early first millennium BCE are known from Marlik and Hasanlu in Iran (Maxwell-Hyslop, 1971, photographs 135, 144). Examples of the local type found in a seventh-century BCE tomb at Tel ῾Ira (Beit-Arieh, 1985, p. 23) testify to the date of their introduction; when they appear elsewhere it is often in post-Iron II or mixed contexts, e.g., at Ketef Hinnom and Kamid el-Loz (Hachmann and Kuschke, 1966, p. 64, fig. 20:6–7). Also found only locally are hoops of several earring types decorated with wound wire and tiny hollow balls.

An abundance of inexpensive Egyptian faience amulets in the shapes of deities and their symbols, such as Horus eyes (Herrmann, 1994), and local carved bone “club” and “hammer” pendants (Platt, 1978; Herrmann, 1994, p. 814) have been found, for example, at Lachish.

[See also Bone, Ivory, and Shell; and Metals. In addition, many of the sites mentioned are the subject of independent entries.]


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Benjamin Sass