Lawrence E. Stager “Why Were Hundreds of Dogs Buried at Ashkelon?” BAR 17:03.


See Kjeld Nielsen, “Ancient Aromas, Good and Bad,” Bible Review, June 1991.



Except for antler there is no worked wild animal bone, though unworked bone of hartebeast (Alcelaphus sp.), a large African antelope, have been recovered at the site. This is not surprising, since the manufacturing process needed a constant and reliable source of raw material that hunting could not supply. About 20 small sections of sawn antler indicate that it too was used as a raw material at Ashkelon, but so far no objects in antler have been found, nor have any bones of the Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) from which it came. The antler was probably obtained through trade since the fallow deer is not a regular inhabitant of the southern coastal plain. Antler is much stronger than bone and thus preferred for handles and other items that need to withstand hard use. The very small amount of worked antler compared to bone is probably due to its greater cost as an import, which outweighed its greater desirability as a raw material.