Late Bronze Age Terracotta Bilbil - SP.268
Origin: Hebron Hills, Israel
Circa: 1500 BC to 1250 BC
Dimensions: 7.5" (19.1cm) high
Collection: Biblical
Style: Late Bronze Age
Medium: Terracotta


Graceful and elegant in form, bilbil vessels were created on the island of Cyprus for export to ancient Egypt and Palestine. In their distinctive shape and general size, bilbils resemble the bulb of the opium poppy, the source of one of the oldest medicines known to man. It is believed that in antiquity, precious opium was cultivated in Cyprus or Turkey as a healing drug and distributed along the Mediterranean coast in bilbils. These vessels were frequently buried in tombs, perhaps as symbols of curative medicine or maybe as balms to grief and mourning. As we hold this lovely vessel in our hands today, we are aware of the touch of forgotten hands, of some human story lost in the mists of time. Its simple beauty delights the senses, even as its history excites the imagination. - (SP.268)




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