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9,000-Year-Old Mask from the Neolithic area

A 9,000-year-old mask is set to be auctioned off at Christie’s June 8. The 9,000-year-old limestone mask will be the oldest art piece to ever grace the famed auction house, reports Yahoo.
It’s estimated that the 9,000-year-old mask could fetch upwards of $600,000. The mask is Neolithic and is meant to represent a human skull and resembles a modern-day hockey mask.

The 9,000-year-old limestone mask found in the Judean dessert, estimated to be from around the 7th millenium B.C., is about 9 inches long and resembles a human skull, according to the listing on the website of auction house Christie's.

Molly Morse Limmer, head of Christie’s Antiquities department in New York, believes that the mask was one of the first attempts to connect with the spiritual world.

This sort of mask is particularly rare. Although others were thought to have existed at some point in time, very few remain intact. Molly Morse Limmer, head of Christie’s Antiquities department in New York, says that the Judean desert’s dry climate is what helped preserve the item for so many years. However, nobody seems to know what purpose the mask served upon its creation.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with 4 comments


Why a human skull rather tan a human face? The mask very clearly displays a nose, which skulls do not possess.

Face don't have a teeth, and have resembles more on the skull rather than face, to me. Matter of perspective :)

I totally agree, Mr. Wagner! It looks like the representation of a human face...rather modernistic, really. Narrow oval face, narrow nose and what appears to be an underbite, although you can't definitively know this because of the quality of the picture. The features appear to be (southern) Mediterranean Caucasian. I always love how the experts want to know what it was "used" for. Maybe it was just art? Or used it as a party mask, since a mask is what it is. Or wore it to rob convenience stores.LOL

It almost looks as though the upper teeth have been sharpened and pointed...or is that just an illusion? Lovely item, though.

crkota - Skulls do not have bags under their eyes. Also, skulls - and as an archaeologist I have helped move several hundred for reburial - do not have lips. At 9-inches in length, the mask is roughly life sized. If it was used as a ceremonial mask, the wearer would need holes to see.

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