What Is It?
Picture
A. Mycenean oil lamp
B. Egyptian toothbrush holder
C. Chalcolithic bone box
D. Assyrian helmet
E. Model of Canaanite grain silo
Answer: C. Chalcolithic bone box
During the Chalcolithic period (c. 4500–3300 B.C.E.), ceramic and stone repositories called ossuaries were used to store and ritually house the bones of the deceased after the flesh had decayed. While many Chalcolithic ossuaries were fashioned to look like buildings or even animals, others—like this pointed, squat and crudely made ceramic vessel from the site of Ben Shemen, which stands about a foot tall—took the form of simple jars outfitted with small rectangular openings through which the bones were inserted. Scholars are unsure …

Join the BAS Library!


Already a library member? Login at the members box (top right).