Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Pierced ears were evidently the fashion for Near Eastern idols for millennia. The seated god, shown here (compare with detail of seated god), the earliest example in this group of images, is from Megiddo, in Israel’s Jezreel Valley, and is now in the Oriental Institute in Chicago. Made of bronze and covered in sheet gold, he is approximately 10 inches tall and dates to the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 B.C.E.). Both of his ears are pierced, although only one gold ring remains. He also wears a conical headdress, a long garment and strap sandals. In his left hand he holds an unusual gold standard embossed with a four-pointed star.