Aweidah Gallery - Ancient Art

Canaanite bronze duck bill axe-head, Middle Bronze Age, 1750 B.C.

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Holy Land: Bronze: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1317356
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P.O.Box 51067 - Jerusalem, ISRAEL

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CANAANITE, Middle Bronze Age
Circa, 2000 – 1750 BC
Time of the Patriarchs

Length: 11 cm
Width: 4 cm
Height on stand: 14 cm

This axe is an example of the ‘duck-bill’ type, so-called because of its likeness to a duckbill, with its elongated blade with a central ridge and two large oval holes. It was invented in the Holy Land in the 2nd Millennium B.C, around the life and times of the biblical patriarchs, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. That puts it Pre-Moses 300 to 500 years.

Nicely mounted on plexi-glass “Lucite” display stand of high quality.

Condition: Ancient crack at the back as shown otherwise intact and in good condition with natural patina

Found in Hebron south of Jerusalem, Holy Land

This bronze axe head was an essential part of the early Canaanite foot warrior’s weaponry in the Near East in the 2nd millennium B.C. The Bronze Axe head was mounted on a handle, made of Ashe wood, was bound halfway down in leather and coated at the handle in dried “biblical cedar pitch glue” for a better grip. This axe head would have been able to easily pierce the bronze helmets and body armor of the enemy.

It is not hard to see why in modern times, these distinctive weapons are termed “duck bill” axes. Yet to the ancient Canaanite who wielded this weapon, it was an object of great power and significance. Given the scarcity of the metal in this area during the middle Bronze Age, these were clearly not utilitarian tools, but weapons and religious artefacts for dedication to the gods. As well as being pioneering traders and seafarers, the warriors of the Canaanites were rightly respected in the ancient Levant. Around the time this weapon was forged, the Canaanites had begun to infiltrate the Egyptian Delta, and by around 1700 BC they had conquered Lower Egypt itself, founding a dynasty known as the Hyksos.

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