Incense shovels were used in the rites of Christians, Jews, Samaritans and Pagans. Describing an object similar to the one seen here, the tenth-century Jewish poet Dunash ben Labrat wrote: "The incense shovel (mahta) is a kind of utensil on which one burns mugmar. Mahta is used wherever it is an instrument (magrefa) with which one shovels the coals. If one burns the mugmar on it, it is called a migmeret; if one shovels coals with it, it is called a magrefa."
Provenience: Tomb 239, Level IV, Northern Cemetery
Date: 400–600 CE (?)
Length: 21 cm
Width: 6.5 cm
Object Number: 29-108-28