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Daggers, broadswords, halberds, battle-axes, shields, helmets, scabbard parts and buckles, spearheads, manacles, necklaces, wine jars, war trumpets, wagon, chariot and harness fittings, armor and heraldic metalwork

entombed in wooden mortuary houses under earthen mounds with severed skulls of conquered enemies fashioned into goblets ready beside the skeleton of the lord seated in his vehicle of prestige

disassembled for passage to the next world the godlike male, all drinking fighting man surrounded by his concubines and servants and strangled children to keep him company across this threshold, and coins, millions of coins.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

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