Late Bronze Age Clay Bilbil

Late Bronze Age Bilbil
From the time of the conquest and Judges
Material: Clay
Origin: Cyprus
Date: LB (1550-1200 B.C.)
Use: Medicine Juglet

A very distinctive and unique pottery piece, the bilbil was typical only to the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.). Originally made in Cyprus, this piece has been found throughout the land of Israel. It was used to import some type of precious liquid, probably medicine. Its long neck allows for slow pouring, and its shape resembles a opium bulb. This leading some scholars to believe that this vessel was mainly used for importing opium.

This vessel demonstrates that as the Israelite’s were entering the land, the Canaanite peoples had many international connections with Egypt, Cyprus, Babylon, and the Hittite Empire. These international trade connections declined just as Israel was becoming a nation, and the Canaanites were very weakened by the time of Joshua’s conquest.

This style of vessel was also copied locally by the Israelite’s in the Iron Age to store water and oil. This vessel is a piece of daily life during the period of the Old Testament, and provides a great example of medical and biblical history.

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