This Plastered Human Skull is a reconstructed human skull that was made in the ancient Levant about 9,000 BC in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period.
It represents one of the oldest forms of art in the Middle East and the earliest examples of sculptural portraiture in the history of art.
This prehistoric artifact is representative of the earliest forms of burial practices in the southern Levant and demonstrates that some cultures took great care in burying their ancestors below their homes.
The human skull was removed from the body, and its cavities filled with plaster and painted. To create more life-like faces, shells were inset for eyes, and paint was used to represent facial features, hair, and mustaches.
This burial practice may represent an early form of ancestor worship, where the plastered skulls were used to commemorate and respect family ancestors. Other experts argue that the plastered skulls could be linked to the practice of headhunting, and used as trophies.
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