A unique lead ornament from Shivta: identification considerations

Emma Maayan-Fanar, Yotam Tepper, Yotam Asscher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An assemblage of lead fragments, discovered during recent excavations in the courtyard of a domestic structure (Building 86) near the southern reservoir at Shivta, appears to consist of several ornamental fragments. The largest and most recognizable fragment is decorated with an eagle with prostrated wings. A second smaller fragment is identifiable as part of a cross. In this paper a reconstruction of the original design of the object/objects is proposed along with the suggestion that they were either dress accessories, or lead models used to make such accessories. It is further suggested that a metal workshop could have operated in Byzantine Shivta, perhaps serving local Byzantine army troops (limitanei).

    Original languageEnglish
    StateAccepted/In press - 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The assemblage of lead fragments was preserved by Roee Shafir in the laboratories of the University of Haifa. The excavations (2016 and 2019 seasons), conducted by Yotam Tepper and Guy Bar-Oz on behalf of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology of the University of Haifa, were supported by research grants from the European Research Council under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant 648427) and the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 340-14). Research on first season was conducted under licenses from the Israel Antiquities Authority G-87/2015, G-4/2016. The second season licenses, Nos. G-82/2018, G-5/2019, were funded by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (Rakefet Foundation).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © Council for British Research in the Levant 2023.


    • Byzantine
    • cross
    • eagle
    • lead ornament
    • limitanei
    • Shivta

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • History
    • Archaeology


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