Zev Radovan

Dor prize. A priestess (left) and a man, both wearing Egyptian-style wigs, raise their right hands in a gesture of blessing. The duck-headed prow of a boat is at left and part of a “tree of life” can be seen at right. The scene decorates a seventh–early sixth century B.C.E. scapula, or cow collarbone, the prize find of the 1993 excavation season at Tel Dor. The coastal city in northern Israel was for many centuries an important Phoenician port and a hub of Egyptian, Greek, Cypriote, Assyrian, Persian and Phoenician cultures.

This is the second scapula found at Dor; others have been recovered from Cyprus and from the 12th-century B.C.E. Philistine temple at Ekron. Scholars suggest that in addition to serving as material for inscriptions, scapulae may have been used as musical instruments in cultic ceremonies or as objects in divination.