National Museum, Athens

Warriors’ Vase. Soldiers in full battle dress decorate an early 12th century B.C. vase from Mycenae. Their bronze helmets and leg guards, coats of mail and spears are all similar to Goliath’s armor and weaponry as described in the Bible. These well-known elements of Aegean warfare, shared by the Mycenaean warriors and Goliath, show the transfer of Aegean tradition to Philistia.

The passage in 1 Samuel 17:5–7 compares Goliath’s spear to “a weaver’s beam” because this type of weapon had not been seen in Israel before and had no Hebrew name. The Warriors’ Vase shows the earliest representation of this javelin-type spear with loop.