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In the most recent issue of the journal ‘Atiqot, which is published by the Israel Antiquities Authority, researchers studied 423 slingstones discovered at Ein Zippori and Ein Esur in northern Israel. The slingstones all dated to the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age) and were nearly identical in size and shape. They were made from dolomite limestone, had a biconical design, averaged 2 in (52 mm) in length, and weighed about 2 oz (60 g) each. The similarity of the slingstones in size and shape led the authors of the study to conclude that they are evidence of large-scale production of weapons, indicating local power centers in the region. The slingstones are, in fact, the earliest evidence of systematic weapon production yet discovered in Israel. Slings were formidable weapons in the ancient world and are attested in the Bible. David was, perhaps, the most famous biblical slinger, killing Goliath in man-to-man combat with a sling and a stone (1 Sm 17:40–50), although the men of Benjamin were also renowned for their slinging abilities: “Among all these [people of Benjamin] were 700 chosen men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss” (Jgs 20:16). 

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