Biblical Archaeology Review 42:4, July/August 2016

Strata: What Is It?

BAR July/August 2016 cover

A. Tombstone

B. Birdhouse

C. Anchor

D. Game board

E. Grinding stone

Answer: (C) Anchor

This stone anchor was found about 500 feet off the coast of Ashkelon, Israel. It belongs to a style known as the composite anchor, which has two or three holes in it.1 This particular anchor has three holes—one at the top and two at the bottom. A cord would have gone through the top hole to connect the anchor to the thing it was anchoring. Wooden pegs would have been inserted into the bottom holes to give the anchor a better hold on the seafloor.

Made of local beach rock, this anchor is about 3.3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. A Greek cross is inscribed on one of the anchor’s faces. On the other side, there are some markings and lines.

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