The iconography is typical—clearly Phoenician. But the execution is masterful. And it is beautifully preserved.

This bowl, from the collection of Shlomo Moussaieff, is similar to other publicly displayed Phoenician exemplars, although those are in a poorer state of preservation.10 Our bowl is more or less contemporaneous with the Hezekiah seal—late eighth to seventh century B.C.E.

Because the bowl surfaced on the antiquities market, its provenance is unknown, although it probably came from Lebanon. (It is worth noting that none of the parallels we have found comes from Phoenicia proper.)11

The centerpiece of the bowl is a precisely illustrated Phoenician version of the dung beetle holding the sun in the form of a ball of dung.12 Around the four-winged beetle is a circular design of intertwined lotus blossoms.13 Both the beetle and the lotus design find their roots in Egypt, as does so much of Phoenician art, yet it is clearly not Egyptian. Scholars call this egyptianizing. The craftsmanship is both refined and elegant.