David Harris

ON THE COVER: Blackened by the raging fires that destroyed Hazor, this 4-inch-tall ivory head testifies to the brutal end of the powerful Canaanite city in the 13th century B.C.

We cannot tell what precious material was originally inlaid in the figure’s eyes or in the hole in the forehead. The headgear is also missing, making it impossible to determine whether the head may have depicted a ruler or deity. We also do not know whether the ivory, which was damaged in antiquity, was originally part of a full figure or just a bust. Although the excavators carefully sifted through the destruction debris in the palace where the head was discovered, the rest of the statue was nowhere to be found.

The statue may have been deliberately mutilated by the city’s destroyers, who chopped off the heads and hands of several statues found throughout the site. In “Excavating Hazor, Part Two: Did the Israelites Destroy the Canaanite City?” Amnon Ben-Tor and Maria Teresa Rubiato try to establish the identity of these marauders.