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Rattle

Rattle

Israel, 800-700 B.C.E.
  • Clay: wheel-turned, slipped, and fired
  • Height 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm) Diameter: 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Archaeology Acquisition Fund, JM 12-73.428
  • Digital image © 2006 The Jewish Museum, New York Photo by Ardon Bar Hama
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Rattle

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CLOSE LOOKING / VISUAL ANALYSIS:

  • Describe the shape and design of this object. What does it remind you of?

  • Inside this hollow artifact is a loose pebble or piece of clay. What do you think it sounds like when the object is shaken?

  • The hole in this rattle is too small for the pebble or piece of clay to come out. Why do you think the hole is there?

  • How does the shape of the object relate to its function as a rattle?



FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:

After giving students ample opportunity to examine this object, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes:

  • How do you think this object was used in the lives of ancient Israelites? How might the context in which it was found influence your answer?

  • Some people have identified this object as a musical instrument. What function does music serve in a society? Why do you think it is that archaeologists have not found many musical instruments from ancient Israel?

  • Other people believe this artifact was used for religious ceremonies. Why do you think music is often a part of religious ceremonies? What role does music play in religious observance today?

  • Still others believe this object may have simply been a child’s toy. How do you think ancient toys differed from the kinds of toys kids play with today? What do you think they have in common? Do you think you would have liked to have been a kid in ancient Israel? Why or why not?



RESEARCH TOPICS / CONTENT CONNECTIONS:

  • Daily Life in Ancient Israel
  • Pottery
  • Musical Instruments