JÉRUSALEM (AFP) – The Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday unveiled what it said was a rare 9,000-year-old stone mask linked to the beginnings of agricultural society.
The pink and yellow sandstone object was discovered in a field at the Jewish settlement of Pnei Hever, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said the IAA.
The artefact was handed in to authorities in early 2018.
“The mask is very naturalistic in the way it was made,” said IAA archaeologist Ronit Lupu. “You can see the cheekbones, you can see a perfect nose.”
“It’s a rare mask,” she told AFP. “The last one that we know was found 35 years ago. It’s an amazing find, archaeologically speaking.”
The West Bank is a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Disputes over ownership of artefacts discovered there are just part of the long-running conflict with the Palestinians over the land.
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