A 9,000-year-old stone mask has been found in the West Bank, one of only 15 similar known artefacts in the world.
The pinkish-yellow limestone artefact from the Neolithic era was found earlier this year in a field near Pnei Hever, a settlement in the West Bank.
Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Ronit Lupu said the discovery of such an old stone mask in such a condition was exciting.
“The stone has been completely smoothed over and the features are perfect and symmetrical, even delineating cheek bones. It has an impressive nose and a mouth with distinct teeth,” she said.
“Everything is very carefully made. You can see they even drilled holes to keep it maybe on their face or maybe on a pole [for display].”
There are only 15 known masks in the world from the pre-pottery Neolithic B period, with only two discovered in an archaeological context where their origin is clear. Read more