Ilan Sztulman/Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavation Project

Three eight spoked wheels, the corner of a stand (lower left) and a bud, all made of cast bronze, were especially exciting finds from the floor of the middle room of building 350. They were no doubt part of a square, wheeled cult stand similar to a 12th-century B.C.E. stand from Cyprus (see photograph). The wheels and square stand supported a basin, or laver. The decorative bud once hung down from the frame of the stand.

The cult stand at Ekron is the first wheeled cult stand ever found in Israel. It dates to only about a century earlier than the stands (mechanot) built by King Hiram of Tyre for Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, described in I Kings 7 as having “four bronze wheels and [two] bronze axles.”