A 3200-year-old scepter, discovered in a Canaanite temple at Lachish, may be the first archaeological evidence of life-sized divine statues in the Levant, according to a new study published in the journal, Antiquity. Numerous Mesopotamian texts record that life-sized statues of gods once stood in ancient temples, and an Assyrian relief shows life-sized statues being carried away from a looted city by Assyrian soldiers. Despite this, none have yet been discovered in-situ. The study’s author, Yosef Garfinkel, suggests that life-sized statues of gods may have been made of wood and other perishable material and might have been adorned with gold, silver and precious stones which were looted. The spatula-shaped scepter was unearthed in the cella, or “holy of holies” of the temple at Lachish beside a small smiting god statue; it was made from bronze and originally coated in silver. The scepter is decorated with a series of dots in concentric circles, and is nearly identical to a spatula-scepter held by a small, gold figurine of a Canaanite seated god discovered at Megiddo. It is also similar to a spatula-scepter previously unearthed at Hazor. A contextual and iconographic comparison of these has led Garfinkel to suggest the scepter from Lachish was once held by a life-sized statue of a Canaanite that may have been up to 1m in height in a seated position.