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1 Chronicles 20:2 says:

David took the crown from the head of their king --its weight was found to be a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones--and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city.

A talent of gold is equal to 75 lb, the question is, has archeology ever found crowns this heavy? Most crowns are not recorded in the Bible, so it seems like the author himself found it out of ordinary that a crown would weigh so much (that's why it was recorded). But is there any type of evidence that these type of crowns ever existed? Regardless, wouldn't such weight snap the kings neck?

To me it's just crazy that such a crown could have existed.

Addendum: While digging through the internet I found this: Can One Carry Heavy Things on Their Head Pain-Free? A Review of Geere 2010.

Apparently in rural places of Earth people carry well beyond 75 lb on their heads all the time... Ok, so one question out of the way, now, is there any evidence for such crowns ever made?

  • Many of us here would take 1 Chronicles 20:2 AS evidence :) Do you mean to ask if there is any extra-biblical evidence? – Mike Borden Jul 30 at 0:07
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First, lets tone down the rhetoric. 75 pounds won't snap anybody's neck — unless of course it is in motion, in which case 75 grams would work too. I've personally had occasion to lift a lot more than that with my head and the neck (even un-excersised) is a pretty strong bit of muscle. In fact in much of the world carrying heavy loads is something you do with your head.

In other words no, managing a crown that heavy would not even have been particularly difficult, much less dangerous. I probably wouldn't have wanted to wear one all day, but for special occasions it is quite a reasonable possibility. Body mechanics allow for it being quite possible.

Second, the weight of a talant was different at different times in history and in different countries. This suggests in this time and place it was probably a bit lighter than your estimate:

More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). (NET Bible notes)

Admittedly this is more substantial than the 4.9lbs of St Edward’s Crown used in modern English crownings, but kings of old were more known for their strength in battle than modern queens are for their choice in fashion.

Searching for weights of historic crows is proving a bit harder. Their value is always calculated but not always their weight. Jewels are often more the point than the raw metal involved. 60 some pounds of metal does seem a bit unwieldy, but if you're using it only for very special occasions and sitting straight as a ramrod in your throne for show anyway, then I could see it giving the right ambiance.

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    Also, noting that the text was not written in English, but has been translated several times. So "crown" may not necessarily the circle of metal that we are familiar with from European royalty, but rather refer larger headdresses worn by rulers, such as the Egyptian Nemes or Khepresh "crowns". – sharur Sep 18 '18 at 18:57
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Or could it have been that men were simply larger 5000 years ago and 75lbs would be nothing to someone say... 8-12 feet tall?

Sounds preposterous to us now, but so did pre-flood men living almost 1000 years.

Ive heard some say thats not possible because David was shorter than Goliath, who stood at 6 cubits. But just what length of arm would that cubit have been measured by? If the norm 5000 years ago was 8-12 feet tall then a forearm would be substantially longer.

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    We have lots of archaeological remains from that period, I've never heard of any 12 foot skeletons, have you? That doesn't prove that there weren't any giants, but it does rule out that being a common height. Saul is described as remarkably tall (though so tall as to be a 'giant') but David is never described that way is he? – curiousdannii Jul 30 at 1:07
  • Guiness Book of Records heaviest weight balanced on head is 416 lbs. – Nigel J Jul 30 at 19:34

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