Courtesy Itzhaq Beit-Arieh

Anthropoid coffin lid. Excavated from a cemetery at Deir el-Balah, near Gaza, this fired-clay coffin bears human features that were modeled separately and then applied to the lid. The six fingers on the right hand, here crossed over the left hand in a conventional manner, may indicate that the buried individual was polydactylous. Dated to the 13th century B.C., the coffins in this cemetery exhibit a quasi-Egyptian style that reflects the Egyptian domination of the area at the time. The coffins probably held the bodies of high-ranking Egyptian officers or officials serving in Canaan, or of Canaanite rulers and dignitaries.