Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by David Harris
Scepter from the Cave of the Treasure
Cave of the Treasure, Nahal Mishmar, Judean Desert
Chalcolithic period, 4500–3500 BCE
Copper
H: 27.5; W: 13 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 1961-88
 
 
This beautifully designed scepter, decorated with the heads of four ibexes and a ram, has become a symbol of the Chalcolithic Period. Produced with the innovative "lost-wax" technique, it was found in a hoard of hundreds of ritual objects hidden in a cave in the Judean Desert. The hoard apparently came from the nearby sanctuary at En Gedi. The scepter was mounted on a pole and probably carried during processions held in or near the sanctuary.

Publications:
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