Zev Radovan/www.biblelandpictures.com

A solid gold cobra, dating between 630 and 603 B.C.E., was uncovered at Philistine Ekron on the floor of a colossal palace. The presence of this finely crafted snake at Ekron shows the popularity of this symbol as ritual and decorative objects. The snake measures 8 inches from head to tail, weighs half an ounce and is made from gold finer than 18-carats. Originally part of a diadem, the cobra was attached to the headdress of a statuette by the protruding prong at left.