During December 1997 a spearhead was discovered on the eastern bank of wadi Hamra, in the wake of development work (map ref. NIG 24715/76335; OIG 19715/26335). The spear-head was discovered by Z. Mazuz and documented, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, by Y. Stepansky, with the assistance of H. Tahan (drawing), H. Smithline (photography) and S. Shalev of the University of Haifa and the Center for Archaeological Science at the Weizmann Institute (metallurgy).
The spearhead (length 29 cm, max. width 3 cm, thickness 0.8 cm, 130 grams; Fig. 1; IAA No. 1999-534) is made of copper and dates to the Intermediate Bronze Age. The blade has a rhomboidal cross-section and a protruding spine that is slightly bent. The long tang has a square cross-section and ends in a curve that broke off close to the time when the spearhead was discovered. From a typological standpoint, the spearhead is similar to others from the Intermediate Bronze Age that were discovered in numerous sites throughout the country, such as Geva Carmel (‘Atiqot 7:2, Fig. 1:5), Hazor (Hazor III–IV, Pl. 244:23) and Upper Tiberias (IEJ 18: Pl. 1:a, where the objects are mistakenly defined as daggers; ‘Atiqot 37:81, Fig. 4:6, 7, where they are defined as spearheads).
The chemical analysis of a chip from the blade indicates that it is made of arsenic copper (2.5% arsenic), containing 1.4% iron. The rest of the elements, among them tin, are present in quantities of less than 0.1%. The composition of elements is similar to that of metal objects from the Intermediate Bronze Age.
The spearhead probably originated from assemblages of the Intermediate Bronze Age that were found in burial caves, previously excavated on the slope of Har Canaan, 150 m to the north (HA 33:12–13).