Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

Horned limestone altar: One of several such altars from Israelite Megiddo, some of which bear the marks of fire at the top, this 21-inch-high stand from the tenth to ninth centuries B.C. seems to imitate the tower of a fortress. The four horns may have supported an incense bowl, but the exact use of this type of stand is unknown. However, the Bible does give us a glimpse of its uses. For example, when God instructs Moses in the proper ritual for the ordination of Aaron and his sons, He says: “Slaughter the bull before the Lord, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and take some of the bull”s blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar” (Exodus 29:11–12). And in regard to a horned altar used for incense burning, the Lord tells Moses: “You shall offer no unholy incense thereon, nor burnt offering, nor cereal offering; and you shall pour no libation thereon. Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year … ” (Exodus 30:9–10).