Photos by Zev Radovan; drawing courtesy Ephraim Stern

Prize find. One of Stern’s key discoveries at Dor is a seventh to early sixth-century B.C.E. cow’s scapula (shoulder blade), incised on the front with a maritime scene (photo at top, drawing at center). The left side of the scene shows a boat with four passengers (or oarsmen); at the center, a priestess and a man raise their right hands in blessing. On the back of the scapula are signs in Cypro-syllabic script (bottom photo).

Scholars believe that scapulae may have been used in divination or as musical instruments. This one was found in area D2, the same section of the site where Stern’s team later came across pieces of the Gorgon’s head.