Rare Neolithic stone mask unveiled in Israel

Rare Neolithic stone mask unveiled in Israel

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Last Wednesday, the Israel Antiquities Authority presented to the public one of its latest discoveries, a rare neolithic stone mask, dated 9,000 years ago and from the beginnings of the agricultural society of the region.

The pink and yellow sandstone object was discovered in a Jewish settlement of Pnei Hever, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in early 2018.

"The mask is very naturalistic, especially because of the shape it was given," explained Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Ronit Lupu. "You can see the cheekbones, and a perfect nose," he added, and ended by commenting that "It's a rare mask. The last one we had seen was found 35 years ago, so it is an amazing find, archaeologically speaking.

Stone masks are linked to the agricultural revolution. The transition from an economy based on hunting and gathering to ancient agriculture and the domestication of plants and animals was accompanied by a change in the social structure and a sharp increase in ritual-religious activities ”, explained the Antiquities Authority in a statement.

The stone masks, like that of Pnei Hever, they are similar in size to the human face, so scholars tend to associate you with that adoration ”, he concluded.

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