Courtesy of the Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations and Phoenix Data Systems

Mideast must-haves. When author Trude Dothan excavated two small, almost conical ivory pieces (one of them is shown above, right) and a similar third piece made of faience (left) at the site of Tel Miqne (ancient Ekron), she was puzzled. Were they ancient spools or bobbins for sewing? After more research, their function became clear: They are ear plugs, fashion accessories to be inserted disc-like into a large hole in the earlobe.