The radiocarbon dating of two London shofarot

The shofar (plural shofarot) is a musical instrument made from an animal’s horn, often a ram. It is an ancient Jewish ritual instrument, which is mentioned sixty-nine times in the Bible, first in the book of Exodus (19:16) at the Theophany on Sinai. Shofarot were used during the circuits of Jericho, after which the walls collapsed (Joshua 6).1 In the synagogue ritual the shofar is blown briefly after morning services during the month of Elul as a preliminary to its most significant use, on Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, when a complex sequence of a hundred calls is performed.2 It is also an important component of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when a single shofar blast at nightfall signals the end of the fast day.

Two ram’s-horn shofarot were discovered in London in the mid-nine? teenth century, when it was claimed that both were of medieval date, pre? dating

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