Stone Figurines Found at Tel Motza

Archaeologists working for the Israeli Antiquities Authority have found two figurines at Tel Motza (about 6 km/4 mi from Jerusalem’s Old City) that date back to around 7500-7000 BCE (during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B). One figurine has a ram’s head with well-proportioned horns, and the other figurine has bovine antlers.

This means that the region around Jerusalem was inhabited by a semi-agrarian society some 6000 years before the Davidic era. Pretty cool! Maybe they’ll find something even older and give Jericho a run for its money.



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5 responses to “Stone Figurines Found at Tel Motza

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  3. This is most interesting. I just wonder how does one date a stone figure? How do you discern when the figure had been hewed out of solid rock? Surely the structure of the rock wouldn’t change, and carbon dating can’t work? So how did they date this?

    • The standard procedure is to date objects based on their archaeological context. These figurines were found near a building that dated to the PPNB (based on its construction and relationship to other buildings, etc.), and the figurines themselves are consistent with the cultural developments during the PPNB, like the domestication of animals, so they were dated to that period.

      (Sources: 1, 2)

      • Thank you, Cory.
        Archaeology is such an interesting field. I am amazed by stuff like this which is high above my understanding. I just love the work you do and insights you have putting all the pieces of the puzzles together.

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