Where it is from?
The Jericho Skull was one of seven similar skulls found together during excavations in 1953 at the site of Ancient Jericho in West Bank (formerly Jordan), known as Tell es Sultan. The word ‘tell’ means ancient settlement mound. Today Ancient Jericho is a large mound about 10 acres in area and about 70 feet high, on the outskirts of modern Jericho. The cowrie shells would have come from the Red Sea, while other materials such as obsidian (a black volcanic glass) came from present-day Turkey. This is significant because it indicates that the community of this time had long-distance exchange contacts.
The earliest portrait?
The Jericho Skull has been called one of the earliest portraits. Kathleen Kenyon, one of the archaeologists who uncovered the skulls, states: ‘They are not the oldest representations of the human form… but they are far more lifelike than any earlier examples… It can be claimed that they are the earliest human portraits directly ancestral to modern art. The art of earlier epochs is divided by a gap of some thousands of years from subsequent developments, whereas from this Neolithic period onwards civilisation develops in an unbroken line’ Archaeology in the Bible Lands (p52).