3,500 year old bracelet -- some questions
- I have some questions concerning the supposedly 3,500-year-old bracelet
recently found in excavations at Ramat Razim (near Zefat) directed by
Karen Covello-Paran (
1). Has the bracelet been subjected to thermoluminescence dating to
determine when the bronze was last smelted? If not, are
thermoluminescence dating tests planned?
2). Has the composition of the bronze been determined? My understanding
is that most modern bronzes are tin-bronze alloys, whereas ancient Near
Eastern bronze may be either tin-bronze or arsenic-bronze. Furthermore,
trace element analysis might permit determination of the source of the
copper, which for a true Late Bronze artifact would probably have been
either Cyprus or, less likely, Sinai or the Wadi Feinan.
3). How secure is the find-spot? Was the bracelet in situ on a floor of
the estate house, part of a burial under a floor, or a surface find
within the limits of the estate house? Was the find-spot sealed from
above? Was there any indication of bioturbation? Intrusive pits or burials?
4) Were any reliably-datable objects, besides the scarab, found together
with the bracelet? How far from the bracelet was the scarab found, and
what was the architectural relationship (if any) between the two find
spots? Is it possible that the scarab had been reused recently as a
piece of modern jewelry? Can photoluminescence dating be used to
determine when the scarab was buried?
- While it will be necessary to wait for the excavation report from the
Ramat Razim excavation to see if there are any remaining questions about the
antiquity of the bracelet/bangle found there, I have heard some statements
from the IAA archaeologist on the scene, Karen Covello-Paran, defending the
conclusion that it is ancient.
Among the subjects of the two-hour LandMinds program broadcast
Wednesday, August 4, 2010, was the "Horned Bracelet" (bangle) found at Ramat
Razim. In an interview with Barnea Levi Selavan and David Willner,
archaeologist Karen Covello-Paran described the village and artifacts found
in context, unexpectedly found near the surface, providing a new light on
this size settlement from 3,500 years ago. She stated that the horned
bracelet was found in a clear destruction layer context of the Late Bronze
period, its style relates to another bronze piece found next to it, with
pottery of the period, and no later intrusions, and rejected the recent
claim (posted by Robert Deutsch on ANE-2) regarding its dating and
The full two-hour LandMinds program may be accessed at
The interview with Karen Covello-Paran is in the 4th section of the
It may also be directly accessed at the Foundation Stone page (second
half of #182) and at
(The timing mentioned below works best with Foundation Stone #182.)
The interview begins at c. 10:50. The bracelet, and its being found with
smashed pottery, is mentioned at c. 19:30-20:30.
(There is a break from c. 22:30-23:00.)
The claim posted at ANE-2 is discussed at c. 30:11, and the interview
ends at 32:55.
Joseph I. Lauer
Brooklyn, New York