Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
“Crown” from the Cave of the Treasure
Cave of the Treasure, Nahal Mishmar, Judean Desert
Chalcolithic period, 4500-3500 BCE
H: 17.5; Diam: 16.8 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 1961-177
This is the most elaborate of ten “crowns” found in the Judean Desert hoard. Despite its shape, it was probably not an actual crown, but a model of a type of round burial structure found in Chalcolithic cemeteries. The object has two elaborate “facades,” each decorated with a pair of horns, two birds of prey, and two columns (one now missing). Made with the lost-wax technique, it was probably used in cultic ceremonies.

Treasures of the Holy Land, Ancient Art from the Israel Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir