We are glad to see the discussion on our Facebook page, and are happy to share the answer and its archaeological context! Keep checking out the site– A new What Is It? will be posted in the middle of the week– in the mean time, explore the site for more content on Biblical archaeology!
A. Chalcolithic grave marker
B. Phoenician foot massager
C. Minoan sistrum
D. Sumerian abacus
E. Arabian dream-catcher
Answer: C) Minoan sistrum
A common musical instrument in Egypt, the sistrum was used to accompany singing and dancing. When a musician would shake the metal sistrum, the instrument’s discs would hit against one another and the loop, creating a vigorous rhythmic sound. This clay sistrum, measuring 7 by 2 inches, was found along with five others in a burial cave on Crete, at the remote inland site of Haghios Charalampos. It is dated to 2100–1700 B.C., during the period of Minoan settlement on the island. It is not clear whether this sistrum was in fact used to make music or whether it was a symbolic copy of a metal sistrum, perhaps created solely as a ritual funerary object. What is clear from finds like this one is that Egyptian culture exerted a strong cultural influence on the Minoan civilization of Crete.
For more on the Minoans, read the Bible History Daily feature Who Were the Minoans?
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update.
Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. Combine a one-year tablet and print subscription to BAR with membership in the BAS Library to start your journey into the ancient past today!Subscribe Today
Yep. A sistrum it is, and a nice one, too. I’ve known what a sistrum is for about 60 seconds. Thanks, Google!
Through the process of elimination, I conclude that the correct answer is C. The Minoan Sistrum. What is a sistrum?!!