2018-06-09 16:09:01 UTC
kings, has been found in an excavation at Abel Beth Maacah, south of the
Lebanon border with Israel.
"The 2-inch sculpture is an exceedingly rare example of figurative art
from the Holy Land during the 9th century B.C. a period associated
with biblical kings. Exquisitely preserved but for a bit of missing
beard, nothing quite like it has been found before.
While scholars are certain the stern bearded figure donning a golden
crown represents royalty, they are less sure which king it symbolizes,
or which kingdom he may have ruled.
Archaeologists unearthed the diminutive figurine in 2017 during
excavations at a site called Abel Beth Maacah, located just south of
Israel's border with Lebanon, near the modern-day town of Metula.
Nineteenth-century archaeologists identified the site, then home to a
village called Abil al-Qamh, with the similarly named city mentioned in
the Book of Kings."
"The royal figurine is made of faience, a glass-like material that was
popular in jewelry and small human and animal figurines in ancient Egypt
and the Near East.
"The color of the face is greenish because of this copper tint that we
have in the silicate paste," Yahalom-Mack said. But a crucial clue for
identifying it as a Near Eastern monarch was its "very interesting
hairdo," she said.
The bearded figure's hair is pulled back in thick locks that cover the
ears, and is held in place by a striped diadem of gold. Its hairstyle
looks similar to the way ancient Egyptians depicted neighboring Near
Eastern peoples in art.
"The guy kind of represents the generic way Semitic people are
described," she said."