Objects from Beth Shemesh

Originally Published in 1932

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THROUGH the courtesy of Dr. Elihu Grant, director of the Haverford College expedition to Beth Shemesh, Palestine, we are privileged to display a number of the objects obtained by this expedition. The collection has been installed in one of the smaller rooms entered through the lower Egyptian Hall.

Beth Shemesh, which is referred to in the Bible (I Samuel, vi), was occupied about 2000 B.C. by the Canaanites; later the Philistines and then the Hebrews were masters of the city; in the days of Nebuchadnezzar it was apparently completely destroyed, but a thousand years later the Byzantines built a monastery around which a small settlement grew.

A small round bowl with two small handles
Plate VII — An Egyptian Bowl of Diorite from Beth Shemesh, Palestine
Museum Object Number: 61-14-1680

The collection of objects from Beth Shemesh dates from 2000 to 500 B. c. and suggests the wide cultural and commercial relations of southern Palestine with other parts of the world. The influence of Cyprus is to be found in some of the pottery and especially in the bronzes. Jewelry and scarabs were either imported from Egypt or copied from Egyptian designs. Even the culture of Western Asia may be detected in the small terra-cotta votive plaques.

A splendid piece is the diorite bowl shown in Plate VII. It is of early Egyptian origin and must have been a treasured antique even in the days of its Beth Shemesh owner. The Beth Shemesh objects form a most interesting companion collection to that obtained by our own Beth Shan expedition and make it possible for us to compare the culture of these two cities of ancient Palestine.

Cite This Article

"Objects from Beth Shemesh." Museum Bulletin III, no. 5 (March, 1932): 121-122. Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/915/


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