Ardon Barhama

Probably the home of a now missing statuette of a deity, this 6-inch-wide shrine features two female figurines standing in front of two columns, a crouching lion at bottom right and an elaborate entablature. The shrine is said to have come from northern Palestine and is dated by its iconography to the tenth-ninth century B.C. It may have been offered to a god in a temple, placed in a tomb or used in a ritual at home. Three scholars prepared a study of the shrine, but an academic journal refused to publish it. Why? Not because the shrine is suspected of being a forgery (thermoluminescence testing showed that it was ancient) but because it came from the antiquities market.