Courtesy André Lemaire

Inscribed ivory pomegranate from the late eighth century B.C., the time of Solomon’s Temple. This unique artifact may once have topped a scepter carried by the Temple priests. If it was not part of a scepter, perhaps it was a Temple ornament, an altar decoration or a finial on a throne or cultic box. Carved from one piece of precious ivory, the pomegranate is only 1.68 inches high and 0.83 inches in diameter. Cut into the base is a hole.39 inches (10 mm) deep and.23 inches (6 mm) in diameter.