ashmolean

Ancient Near Eastern Terracottas (ANET)

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Bone: AN1955.565

Object: Plastered human skull

Period: Pre-Pottery Neolithic

Dimensions: H: 15.2cm. W: 16.7cm. L: 22cm.

Region: Palestine

Find Spot: Jericho: 1953 season of excavation: skull D III (Reg. 534); from square D. I, stage XVI-XVII: phase xlii-xliii)

Description: skull of adult male without the mandible (probably removed before deposit); an artificial chin was provided to give the face a natural appearance. Built up in clay and plastered with a smooth surface, coloured brownish-red (iron oxide, probably ochre). The plastering does not extend over the cranial vault, perhaps originally provided with some other material to simulate hair. The core for modelling the flesh cover and features has been severely damaged so that only the eye and the nose fillings with parts of the cheek and artificial chin fillings survive. The skull shows signs of deformation tabulae obliquae . This is the only modeled skull from Jericho at present in which the eyes were represented by cowrie shells (Erosaria sp.); set horizontally rather than by bivalve shells set vertically.

Reference: ANET-11Prehistoric-Catalogue.

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