Originally plastered and painted. From the Neolithic settlement at Jericho, c.7000 BC. AN1955.565.
One of several from the site, all were found with bivalve shells inset for the eyes, except for this example with inset cowrie shells. This is thought by some to be one of the earliest human portraits, and probably relates to a form of ancestor veneration. Excavated in 1955 at Jericho by Dame Kathleen Kenyon, it witnesses the Museum's continued close association with field archaeology in the twentieth century.
Ancient Near East (Gallery 19), Ground Floor, Case P105