Skull with shell eyes from Jericho.
8th-6th millennium BCE Levantine Neolithic Sculpture
(active c. 3000 BCE - 400 CE)
8000 BCE-6000 BCE
8th-6th millennium BCE
Oxford. Ashmolean Museum.
Other beliefs of the peoples of ancient Jericho may be surmised from the skull shown here, which is the skull of a real human being whose features have been reconstructed with the help of clay and bi-valve shells. This skull indicates a belief in some sort of existence after death, and the subtle modeling of the features represents the same desire to symbolize and insure continued existence as did the red ochre dust which Neanderthals sprinkled over the bodies of their dead to simulate blood. Also, the re-created skull from early Jericho may reflect the ancient agricultural mystery that life comes out of death, for a seed must die before it can return in new life.
The features were molded in plaster over a human skull. Bivalve shells were used for the eyes.