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May 21, 2019

Israel archaeologists recover 9,000-year-old mask

November 28, 2018
Israeli archeologist Ronit Lupu, holds a rare stone mask dating to the Neolithic (new stone age) period which was found at the Pnei Hever region of southern Hebron mount, on November 28, 2018 at the Rockefeller archeological museum in Jerusalem. (GALI TIBBON / AFP/Getty Images)

Behind every face is a story — and this face tells a story from thousands of years ago.

A 9,000-year-old mask, one of only 15 in the world, has been revealed by Israel archaeologists.

“Discovering a mask made of stone, at such a high level of finish, is very exciting,” IAA archaeologist Ronit Lupu said.

The Israel Antiquities Authority revealed the rare object made from pink and yellow sandstone on Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel.

“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.

Dug up in southern West Bank settlement near Hebron, the artifact is thought to have been worn during ritualistic ancestor worship.

“Stone masks, such as the one from Pnei Hever, are similar in size to the human face, which is why scholars tend to connect them with such worship,” Lupu explained.

Equipped with cheeks, a nose, and eyes — it is evident the artifact was carefully made and part of the Neolithic culture.

Holes were seen to have been drilled on the edges of the mask, indicating a use for display.

“The mask is a unique finding in the archaeological world. It is even more unusual that we know which site it came from. The fact that we have information regarding the specific place in which it was discovered makes this mask more important than most other masks from this period that we currently know of.”

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