web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Oldest Known Masks in the World on Display in Israel

Happy Purim? One of 11 of the oldest masks in the world on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Happy Purim? One of 11 of the oldest masks in the world on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Israel Museum

A new display in Jerusalem is showcasing the oldest-known masks in the world, believed to have originated 9,000 years ago, long before Purim.

The 11 masks are made of stones and were discovered in the Judean desert near Jerusalem. Experts believe the masks were meant to look like skulls, with each displaying a unique personality via emotional expressions of shock or grinning.

“When you go back to objects that are this old, that are so much before the theology that becomes Judaism, Christianity and then Islam, to feel that there is a kind of a connection, that this is all part of a continuous story, is something that is pretty thrilling,” said Israel Museum director James Snyder, the Associated Press reported.

The custom of mask making and wearing dates back at least 25,000 years although no masks that old have been found, according to exhibit curator Debby Hershman, with the earliest masks most likely made of animal materials. Later, stone masks originated at the time when humans living in the Fertile Crescent adopted agriculture.

“It’s the most important revolution that ever happened,” Hershman said. The people who fashioned the masks, she said, “are actually the founders of civilization.”

About the Author: www.JNS.org is an independent, non-profit business resource and wire service covering Jewish news and Israel news for Jewish media throughout the English-speaking world.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Oldest Known Masks in the World on Display in Israel”

  1. Cheri Fistel says:

    There are holes around the sides of the mask that would mean that the mask was fastened on. Does the mouth allow for breathing, or the nose? I am afraid to say more.

  2. Maynard Miller says:

    That mask looks a lot like John Kerry.

  3. It looks heavy and uncomfortable, doesn't it? Of all the building materials they had, why would they use stone unless it was for a very special occasion/ceremony/ritual? Wouldn't it be nice to look back in time to see exactly what was going on in those moments? Hopefully, they'll uncover extra artifacts to shed light on their purpose.

    It reminds me of the death mask from the original Twilight Zone.

  4. Cheri Fistel says:

    I believe it was not for a celebritory for the wearer.

  5. Cheri Fistel, yeah, it doesn't look like it. And even though it has a smile, when you look at the sunken eyes, the smile suddenly looks more like a grimace of pain or a smile tempered by sadness.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest News Stories
Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan wants to keep Israeli electric supply at home to avoid summer blackouts, rather than export the juice to Gaza.

Erdan is set to be sworn in as the new Minister of Internal Security, Strategic Affairs and Advocacy.

Rabbi Riskin in an Efrat shul.

Effort to depose Rabbi Riskin are revenge against his positions and halachic decisions.

Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.

Appointing Gold, a strong right-winger, is a clear message to the Obama administration that Israel’s fed up with its illusions.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

The Chief Rabbinate will invite Rabbi Riskin for a hearing on whether to extend his term, ostensibly because of his age but possibly because of his views on conversion.

Hareidi Jews dance as they celebrates the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot at the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday night (and that was after just 2 days, imagine how they danced in Galus after three!).

The terrorist organization also copied the Israeli phrase that Jerusalem always will be “undivided.”

Two cops who ordered a pizza vomited instead of getting high.

The terrorist organization’s “exposé” to a friendly Lebanese newspaper also is justification for the IDF to bomb human shields.

“You shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.” Deuteronomy 16:19

Actress and comedienne Meara Stiller died on Saturday at age 85.

Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah is getting very scared of Islamic State’s advances.

Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.

Nobel Prize winner John Nash (86) and his wide Alicia Nash (82) were killed in a car crash on Saturday night in New Jersey.

The boys were heading to a Shavuot study session when they were attacked by the Arab terrorist.

More Articles from JNS News Service
One of the Molotov Cocktails thrown at the Beit Orot Yeshiva in Jerusalem. (June 16, 2014)

Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.

The Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The 10-0 committee vote follows the 49-0 passage of the measure in the Illinois State Senate and […]

The Indiana General Assembly has become the second-ever state legislature to pass a resolution that formally opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tennessee lawmakers approved a similar measure on April 21. Adopted in a voice vote, the Indiana Senate approved Resolution 74, which “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS […]

Tennessee becomes the first state to formally condemn the BDS movement.

Israel ranks as the third-largest provider of U.S. television content after the U.K. and the Netherlands, Forbes reported. Three Israeli companies—Armoza Formats, Keshet Media Group, and Dori Media—have sold the concepts of more than 100 shows to many countries around the world including France, Brazil, Indonesia, and the United States. Noa Tishby, a well-known Israeli-American […]

PA Chairman Abbas congratulated the Arab party on its success in the March 17 Israeli elections.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, had contacted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to complain about the project.

Additionally, the report recommends new restrictions against “known violent settlers.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/oldest-known-masks-in-the-world-on-display-in-israel/2014/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: