Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A 10th-century-BCE electrum pendant from Jerusalem

PHOENICIAN WATCH (?): Tiny First Temple-era Phoenician pendant is ‘earliest gold artifact’ found in Jerusalem. Just 4 millimeters on a side, the item could provide evidence that Phoenicians were in Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, archaeologist says (Gavriel Fiske, Times of Israel).
The tiny pendant or earring was found a decade ago during excavations in the Ophel, a raised area south of Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But until last year, the item had been largely overlooked, according to archaeologist Brent Nagtegaal of the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology.

The finely crafted artifact is shaped like a basket with a solid base measuring just 4x4x2 millimeters. Two semicircular “handles” extend 6 millimeters above the base, overlapping each other to form a point where the pendant could be suspended, and narrow gold wire is wrapped around the top of the item.


The artifact is "'securely dated by archaeological context' to the 10th century BCE." If it is of Phoenician origin, it could be taken as indirect evidence for the claim of the Deuteronomistic History that Phoenicians were active in Jerusalem at that time building Solomon's Temple.

However, it seems that the case for its Phoenician origin has not yet been published. I would withhold judgment until we see how secure that case is.

Anyway, nice pendant. Someone was very upset when it was lost. Cross-file under Ancient Bling and Exhibition.

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