A Cache of Astragali from Tel Nagila

Lidar Sapir-Hen, Joe Uziel, Aren M. Maeir, David Ilan, Matthew Susnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a cache of 31 astragali from the site of Tel Nagila, dating to the Middle Bronze Age. This is the earliest known cache of astragali from the Southern Levant outside tombs, and may be the forebearer of the later caches found in cultic contexts in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. This paper presents the context in which the cache was found, adjacent to a tower that functioned as part of the site’s fortifications; the social mechanisms behind the use of astragali; their deposition in a cache; and how the cache may have related to the function of the context in which it was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Israel Antiquities Authority. All rights reserved.


  • Astragali
  • Middle Bronze Age
  • cache
  • divination
  • fortifications
  • game pieces


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