What is it? Answer to the BHD and Facebook Artifact Discussion.

What is this object? When is it from? What culture did it come from?

Thanks to all who participated in the “What is it?” artifact discussion! This week’s was a challenge! Read about the Philistine linchpin below, and explore www.biblicalarchaeology.org for more Biblical Archaeology content!

A. Egyptian hairpin
B. Assyrian back scratcher
C. Roman scepter
D. Philistine linchpin
E. Edomite ceremonial tent stake

Answer: (D) Philistine linchpin

Discovered at the Philistine site of Ashkelon, this bronze linchpin is one of only a handful of ancient chariot fittings to have been discovered in Israel. The 7-inch-long pin would have been placed through a small hole located between the chariot’s wheel and the end of the axle. Once lashed into place (using a leather cord strung through the hole in the head of the pin), the pin served the crucial function of preventing the wheel from flying off when the chariot was in motion.
Decorating the upper half of the linchpin from the 11th century B.C.E. is the head and torso of a human-like figure with bulging eyes, a prominent curved nose and an elaborate mushroom-shaped headdress. The figure’s long neck is outfitted with what may be a hanging beaded necklace, or perhaps a coat of armor. Ashkelon excavator Lawrence Stager has noted the close similarities between the face and torso of the pin and the numerous long-necked Ashdoda figurines found in Iron Age Philistia, and believes the pin likely depicts a leading Philistine goddess.1 The Philistines, like their Canaanite and Egyptian neighbors who used similarly decorated linchpins, believed that such divine images would protect their chariots and chariot teams from enemy attack.

Explore www.biblicalarchaeology.org for more Biblical Archaeology content!

Posted in Artifacts and the Bible, Daily Life and Practice.

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Add Your Comments

13 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Brian says

    I’ll guess (A)

  2. Alice says

    Ok, I’ll bite. I’ll guess A

  3. Galyn says

    E…i think it is a tent peg, and it looks decorated…so, the only answer that fits is an Edomite ceremonial tent stake, i guess???

  4. Woody says

    Looks like a tent stake (E)

  5. Theresa says

    I say (E). To big for (A). too small for (B), too plain for (C), no wear for (D).

  6. Michele says

    E tent stake

  7. Barbara says

    It looks like it could be silver! I guess it is a hair pin. I have seen ten that long.

  8. Paul says

    Long as it is I think it is A, the Egyptians did have some elaborate wigs.

  9. BJ says

    Hairpin

  10. Penny says

    If it is a hairpin, whomever wore it would need a really large head to keep something 7″ long in her hair. I believe it is a ceremonial tent peg.

  11. Larry says

    I think it is a dipstick for a machine that moved big monument stones.

  12. federico says

    my answer is letter. E

  13. Gregory says

    Doesn’t look like any of the other cultures, so I would say, E.


Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.


Enter Your Log In Credentials

Change Password

×