Region: Palestine: Megiddo Origin: Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1930 Accession: OIM A18835 Period: Stratum VI Iron Age I, ca. 1175-1100 B.C. Materials: Baked clay, painted Dimensions:
This ring was probably used as a libation vessel during religious ceremonies in ancient Palestine. It consists of a hollow clay ring with hollow clay attachments in the forms of a gazelle head, two jars, two pomegranates, two doves, and a cup. The doves, whose heads have been restored, drink from the cup. An eighth attachment is missing, having been broken off in antiquity.
The pomegranate, the gazelle and the doves suggest that this ring was associated with a fertility cult. Wine or water would have been poured into the cup and circulated through the other objects attached to the ring, thus symbolizing the fertility of the earth and its produce.
Kernos rings are fairly common in Palestine, although few are as elaborate or as well preserved as this one.