A pair of Israelite Bronze Cymbals, Iron Age II B, 925–586 BCE

both consisting of a circular, flat metal plate with pierced domed center for threading with a strap handle. 

Background:  In contrast to the large and thin type of cymbals today, the cymbals of Biblical times were substantially smaller and thicker by comparison. From the artifacts that have been excavated in the Palestine area, there are two basic types of bronze cymbals ranging in size from approximately 1.125" to 2.325" (3-6 cm) for the smaller cymbal, such as these examples, and the larger variety ranging from 3.125" to 4.75" (8-12 cm).

From the limited context within the Scriptures, this type of cymbal is briefly mentioned in 2 Samuel 6:5 and Psalm 150:5, most likely corresponding to the smaller variety of ancient cymbals found on cymbal clappers and the finger cymbals associated with Middle Eastern dance.  These smaller cymbals are similar, if not identical, to the finger cymbals worn on the hands of center Eastern dancers today. 

Condition: Cymbals are intact and in uncleaned condition. 

Dimensions: Diameter: 5.5 cm (2.16in)

Provenance:  Paul Ilton private collection.  During his lifetime, Paul Ilton was internationally known as an archaeologist, lecturer, teacher, film consultant and author, personally excavating the pieces within his collecting during his 25 years in the Holy Land.   He recorded his findings in a book “The Bible was my Treasure Map” published in 1958 following his death.


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