The Oldest Mask in the World

Hirbat DumaPre-Pottery Neolithic B, 9000 years ago

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Who stood behind this mask?
Who could have used this mask in ancestor cults or in magic rituals such as divination and healing?
Did the holes on either side serve to attach hair to the mask in order to give it a more human appearance?
Was the mask suspended from a pillar, a statue, or even a human face?
Note how striking his profile is.
The carved human face belongs to a very rare group of stone masks, dating back 9,000 years, found in the Judean Desert and on its outskirts.

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  • Title: The Oldest Mask in the World
  • Creator: Hirbat Duma
  • Date: Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, 9000 years ago
  • Physical Dimensions: L: 22.5 cm; W: 15.6 cm; Th: 6.6 cm
  • Medium: Stone