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
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.

Treasures of the Holy Land, Ancient Art from the Israel Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986
3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015

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