Intermediate bronze age crescent-headed figures in the negev highlands

Lior Schwimer, Yuval Yekutieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents the discovery of a unique and widespread type of petroglyphs in the Western Negev Highlands, depicting human figures with crescent-shaped headgear, knee-high garments, and crescent pommel daggers. It proposes a methodology for dating this style and its historical context by: (1) analysis of presence or absence of specific animal species in the engraved scenes; (2) examination of the occurrence of particular attributes that appear in the scenes within dated contexts across the ancient Near East; and (3) study of the fit between the incised panels’ locations and the distribution of dated archaeological sites in the region and the routes connecting them. Based on this composite analysis, it is proposed that these petroglyphs are associated with groups participating in the copper trade that operated in the Sinai-Negev-Edom region during the Intermediate Bronze Age (ca. 2500-2000 B.C.E.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-243
Number of pages25
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Copper trade
  • Crescent-headed figures
  • Intermediate Bronze Age
  • Negev
  • Rock art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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