Biblical Archaeology Review 36:6, November/December 2010

What Is This?

Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2010

Answer: A

On August 3, 2010, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced the discovery in a press release that called the bracelet “extraordinary,” “unique.” There was no end to the IAA’s superlatives: “unusual,” “intriguing,” “fascinating.” (Was there an advance hint of trouble in the press release’s observation that the bracelet was “extraordinarily well preserved”?)

The bracelet was probably used by the village ruler, according to Karen Covello-Paran, the IAA archaeologist who directed the excavation. “The person who could afford such a bracelet was apparently very well-off financially,” she observed.

The bracelet has five little knobs on it. One was identified by Covello-Paran as “a horned structure.” She noted that in “neighboring lands gods and rulers were depicted wearing horned crowns.” Horns were also “the symbol of the storm god and they represented power, fertility and law.”

The bracelet was discovered in the first Late Bronze Age village ever found in northern Israel. More specifically, it lay within an “estate house” that included a paved courtyard surrounded by rooms. The site, now known as Ramat Razim, lies about 6 miles north of the large contemporaneous urban site of Hazor.

The remarkable discovery was widely reported in the press.

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