Unique 3,800 year-old ceramic vessel discovered in Israel

Unique 4,000 year old sculpture modelled onto ceramic vessel. Image: Clara Amit

Unique 4,000 year old sculpture modelled onto ceramic vessel. Image: Clara Amit

A small extraordinary vessel from the Middle Bronze Age was discovered in an archaeological excavation recently conducted in the city of Yehud prior to the construction of residential buildings.

According to Gilad Itach, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “It literally happened on the last day of the excavation when right in front of our eyes an unusual ceramic vessel c. 18 cm high was exposed that bears the image of a person. It seems that at first the jug, which is typical of the period, was prepared, and afterwards the unique sculpture was added, the likes of which have never before been discovered in previous research. The level of precision and attention to detail in creating this almost 4,000 year old sculpture is extremely impressive. The neck of the jug served as a base for forming the upper portion of the figure, after which the arms, legs and a face were added to the sculpture.  One can see that the face of the figure seems to be resting on its hand as if in a state of reflection”.

Itach added, “It is unclear if the figure was made by the potter who prepared the jug or by another craftsman”.

In addition to the find, other vessels and metal items were edxcavated such as daggers, arrowheads, an axe head, sheep bones and what are very likely the bones of a donkey.  A variety of evidence regarding the kind of life that existed there 6,000 years ago was exposed – among other things, pits and shafts were revealed that contained thousands of fragments of pottery vessels, hundreds of flint and basalt implements, animal bones, and a butter churn.