Israel unveils Bronze Age 'Thinker' figurine

Israel unveils Bronze Age 'Thinker' figurine

Other vessels and metal items were found such as daggers, arrowheads, an axe head, sheep bones and what are believed to be the bones of a donkey.

But the vessel with the sculpture on top was the piece de resistance.

Image: Conservationist Elisheva Kamaisky, shows journalists a 3,800 year-old pottery jug with a rare statuette, discovered during excavation in central Israel, at the Israel Antiquities Authority offices in Jerusalem November 23, 2016.

"Such a unique ceramic vessel, which is the first we've found, within the context of the grave, can indicate that an important person was buried there", Gilad Itach, IAA excavation director, told AFP news agency.

The figurine was discovered along with a number of other items, including daggers, an ax head and arrows that archaeologists believe were buried as part of funeral offers for a respected member of the ancient community.

"One can see that the face of the figure seems to be resting on its hand as if in a state of reflection".

Aside from its resemblance to Rodin's famed sculpture, Itach said the newly uncovered figure is remarkable for the clarity of detail it features, uncommon in the era during which it was created.

Deeper excavations revealed artifacts dating back at least 6,000 years.

The IAA said the area was occupied as far back as 4,000 BCE, with other artefacts - including pottery vessels, animal bones and flint tools - also found at the site. The jug is perfectly typical of the time and place, but the figure on top is not. The neck of the vessel was used as trunk for the character, who according to archaeologists is a man with added arms, legs and figure.

An offering pit containing a treasure of copper weapons and ceramic assemblage has been discovered in Yehuda, a Bronze Age city located in the territory of the Israelite tribe of Dan (Jos 19:40,45), some 13 km East of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

"Suddenly I saw many archaeologists and important people arriving who were examining and admiring something that was uncovered in the ground" said Ronnie Krisher, one of the students who participated in the dig, in a statement. "They immediately called all of us to look at the wonderful statuette and explained to us that this is an extremely rare discovery and one that is not encountered every day".

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