Archaeologists in Syria find ancient 'wand' engraved with human faces
The 9,000-year-old item, made of cow-bone, likely depicted 'powerful supernatural beings,' archaeologists say.
"Earlier traditions of figurative art had avoided the detailed and naturalistic representation of the human face. Fundamental changes occurred during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic with the famous plastered skulls of Jericho and other sites," International Business Times cited the archaeologists as saying. "Statues, masks and smaller carvings also appeared," they said in the findings, which were published in March in the journal Antiquity.
The cow-bone wand, found by archaeologists during digs at Tell Qarassa in 2007 and 2009, was possibly used in a burial ritual, archaeologists believe. "This small bone object from a funerary layer can be related to monumental statuary of the same period in the southern Levant and south-east Anatolia that probably depicted powerful supernatural beings," the experts said.
"It may also betoken a new way of perceiving human identity and of facing the inevitability of death. By representing the deceased in visual form, the living and the dead were brought closer together."
With the fighting in Syria ongoing since 2011, there have been illegal excavations at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country, including the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, Bosra, Crac des Chevaliers, Palmyra, Damascus and Aleppo.
At the risk of repeating myself, I'm much more focused upon the use of a COW BONE to carve this so-called "magic wand" and -- is it just a coincidence that Hat-Hert ("Hathor", the cow goddess) -- was developing via her predecessor, the warrior Goddess Neith, her own cult around the same time in the delta region of Egypt?
I believe it safe to say that many sacred cults of cow and bull worship developed during this period throughout the Fertile Crescent, focusing upon Sun and Moon worship, co-existent with cults that manifested separately (and may predate the worship of cows/bulls) the worship of felines (lionesses and lions). Hat-Hert, for instance, turned into a voracious devouring lioness to destory evil mankind. Ancient Chinese goddesses (whose dates are yet uncertain) manifested themselves as tigress/females who could turn upon mankind at any second. We should not ever forget the "lion" throne that was found with the rotund female sitting upon it, at Catal-hoyuk (Turkey, part of the Fertile Crescent), as well as the numerous aurochs' heads, either (approximately 7500 BCE - 5700 BCE).
Add 2000 years, and what do you get -- development of such cults of worship more or less all around the same time...