Robert Maddin

An iron pick from Har Adir in the upper Galilee. This tool’s remarkable state of preservation belies its date—from the 12th or early 13th century B.C. On the top we see it as it was excavated; on the bottom, after cleaning and preservation. This pick is especially noteworthy because it is one of only two artifacts from this period that have undergone metallurgical analysis. In the bottom photo, the arrow far left points to the tiny metal chip removed for this scientific study. The right arrow indicates where hardness readings were made. The hardness readings and the results of metallographic examination show that the pick was made of carburized iron (steel) that had been quenched and then tempered.