News Article

News Article

Israel Museum Unveils Collection of Eerie Stone-Age Ceremonial Masks

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To mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, the Israel Museum of Jerusalem recently opened an exhibition of spooky ritual masks dating back 9,000 years – the oldest artifacts of their kind ever displayed.
 
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Photo: Elie Posner/Israel Museum
 
“Face to Face: The Oldest Masks in the World” is comprised of twelve masks of various sizes – some large and heavy, others the size of a fist, and all carved from limestone. While little is known about their purpose, experts believe they could be relics of a prehistoric religious sect who worshiped their ancestors and wore the masks in ceremonial rites.
 
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Photo: Elie Posner/Israel Museum
 
According to the Times of Israel, the skull-like ceremonial masks were unearthed in the Judean Desert and Hills over a period of several decades, and the age of the masks suggests they were made by the first cultures in the region to shift from nomadic tribes to permanent settlements. Not much else is known about the eerie artworks, since they were created thousands of years before the development of written language.
 
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Photo: Elie Posner/Israel Museum
 
The exhibit will run through September 13th at the Archeology wing of the Israel Museum.
 
Speaking of mysterious ancient artifacts... we recently learned that England's famous Stonehenge might actually be a gigantic musical instrument!
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