A Mysterious King Sculpture Found in Israel for 3,000 Years

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There was a mysterious 3,000-year-old figurine in Israel that could not be identified. Your sculpture is thought to belong to a king from the Old Testament period.

Biblical sculpture is exhibited at the Israel Museum. C: Ilan Ben Zion / AP

The statuette, 5 cm in size, is an extremely rare figurative example of art in the region and is dated to the 4th century BC, a period associated with the Bible kings. The missing statue of the beard is so well preserved as the daylight, and a similar specimen found before is unknown.

The academics know that the figure represents the royal because he is wearing a golden crown and a curly beard, but he is not sure which king he is symbolizing or which kingdom he has ruled.

Archaeologists uncovered the figure in question in 2017 during excavations in an area called Abel Beth Maacah, located just south of Israel's Lebanon border, near the city of today's Metula.

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In the 9th century BC, this ancient city was located in a border region between three regional powers: the kingdom of Aramaic, which is the central Sham in the east, the Tire of the Phoenician city in the west, and the Israeli kingdom,

"This place is very important because it points out that the region may have changed hands between Aramaic-Sham and Israel," said Naama Yahalom-Mack, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University headed by Kazaa.

Yahalom-Mack's team was digging the ground for the massive Iron Age structure in the summer of 2017. The layer on which your statuette is located stretches back to the age associated with rival biblical realms of Israel and Judah. ​​

The archaeologists and curators in the Museum of Israel started working as soon as possible to exhibit this work. On top of this, the work produced a detailed report on the publication of the Near East Archaeological Journal in June.

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Eran Arie, curator of the Museum of Iron and Persian archeology at the Israel Museum, says it is the only example of the reconnaissance. "In iron age, if there is any figurative art, and not to a great extent, they are of very low quality. But this work was made in excellent quality "

The figurine, ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern jewelry, made of fayanstan, a glass-like material popular in small human and animal figurines.

Yahalom-Mack says, "The color of his face is greenish because of the copper color in the silicate paste." But a crucial clue to the identification of this person as a ruler in the Near East is the very interesting hairstyle. This hairstyle is similar to the models depicted by the ancient Near Eastern peoples in the works of ancient Egyptians.

"This person represents the general form in which Semitic people are depicted."

The potential date range is quite wide, as Carbon-14 dating can not give a more precise date for the construction of the sculpture outside the 9th century

"We can only guess here. It's kind of like a game. It's like a hello from the past. But we do not know much about it. "

While academics are debating whether the head is an independent piece or a piece of a larger statue, the excavation team will resume digging where the head of the mysterious king is.

The Guardian. June 10, 2018.


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