quarta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2008

Crânios da Idade da Pedra descobertos na Galiléia

Arqueólogos israelenses descobriram na Baixa Galiléia, em escavações realizadas em Yiftah'el, três crânios esculpidos, da Idade da Pedra, do Período Neolítico B Pré-cerâmico, diz a IAA - Israel Antiquities Authority. Os crânios têm mais de 8 mil anos de idade.

O Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily, diretor da escavação, explica que os crânios estão esculpidos, um fenômeno que se identifica com o Neolítico. A prática inclui a reconstrução de todos os traços faciais do morto esculpidos com distintos materiais, como, por exemplo, uma argamassa especial. Os crânios modelados são a imagem do falecido que ficava na consciência dos sobreviventes e os guiava nas decisões que tomavam no seu dia-a-dia. Práticas semelhantes foram igualmente identificadas em descobertas feitas na Síria, Turquia e Jordânia.

Na página da IAA leio:
Three Extraordinary Skulls were found in Excavations in the North
The 9,000 year old skulls, which were found sculpted, attest to the development of ancestor worship from then until the present. The skulls were apparently placed on benches in a house where they would inspire the younger generation to continue in the ways of their forefathers. A similar custom was also identified in Syria, Turkey and Jordan.


In excavations that are currently being conducted at the Yiftah’el archaeological site, near the Movil Junction in the Lower Galilee, three extraordinary skulls from the New Stone Age (Pre-pottery Neolithic B) were discovered. The skulls are 8,000-9,000 years old and were buried in a pit adjacent to a large public building (...)

According to Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily, director of the excavations at the site on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The skulls were found plastered – that is to say sculpted – which is a phenomenon that is identified with the New Stone Age. The practice included the reconstruction of all of the facial features of the deceased by means of sculpting the skull with a variety of materials such as plaster that was specifically intended for this. It should be noted that the reconstruction of the facial features was not always done in accordance with their real location on the skull. On the skulls that were found in the excavation the nose was entirely reconstructed; the mouth was accentuated and the eyes were restored by means of three shells placed in each of the orbits. The rest of the facial features were reconstructed with a “plaster mask”. As mentioned above, the skulls were found in a pit next to a large rectangular building whose walls were built of mudbricks and floors were made of thick, high quality plaster. Especially noteworthy in the building were depressions that were fashioned in the floor and later sealed. Dr. Khalaily says, “It seems that these depressions were used as graves beneath the floors. The funerary practice at this time consisted of burying the dead beneath the plaster floors, inside the buildings. Some time thereafter, the residents would dig up the grave, retrieve the skull from the rest of the skeleton and recover the grave. Later they would then mold the skull in the image of the deceased and keep it inside the house. This custom is known in the scientific literature as “ancestor worship”. The molded skull is actually the image of the deceased that remained in the survivors’ consciousness, and it guided them in the various decisions they made in their everyday life. Evidence from sites that are contemporary with Yiftah’el indicates that the molded skulls were placed on shelves or benches inside buildings, which were specifically constructed for this purpose. After a period of time, during which the successor established his status and it was accepted by society, the need of the father image lessened and in another ceremony the skulls were buried in a separate pit, within the precincts of the building or nearby”.

The three molded skulls that were found at Yiftah’el join some fifteen other similar skulls that have been found to date at Jericho, Beisimoun, Kefar HaHoresh, ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan and at a site near Damascus. According to Dr. Khalaily, “The manner in which the skulls from Yiftah’el are buried and how they are shaped resemble those that were discovered at the Neolithic site of Tell Aswad and it seems that there was a connection between Yiftah’el and the Syrian site, which is located c. 200 kilometers away”...

Veja também as fotos na página da IAA.

Leia mais sobre a descoberta no blog BiblePlaces, de Todd Bolen, no post Plastered Skulls Found in Galilee.

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