Courtesy Avner Raban

Half a fake. This stone anchor was recently offered for sale to the Maritime Museum in Haifa by an antiquities dealer. It closely resembles the three-holed anchors used in the 13th to 11th centuries B.C.E. by the Philistines and other Sea Peoples. Author Raban believes the anchor may well be genuine, but the incised ship and signs were probably added in modern times to inflate the object’s market value. After the incisions were made, the anchor was put back into the sea to be covered by marine encrustation. One desirable side effect of legitimizing the sale of antiquities would be a drop in the sale of fakes: Buyers would greatly prefer artifacts with scientific documentation to items from unknown or dubious sources.