Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University/Nikolay Tarakhonav-Adani

Wings arched for take-off, this 8-inch-long Edomite sphinx was found at H|orvat Qitmit. Its overall style—with human face, eagle’s wings and lion’s or bull’s body—suggests Egyptian and Phoenician influence. The sphinx’s goggle eyes, protruding nose and hair, however, are distinctively Edomite, in the style of other figurines found at Qitmit. Winged sphinxes were common in the cult of the Near East. The Biblical cherubim whose wings stretched across the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s Temple were in fact winged sphinxes.