3,000 Year-Old Sculpture Depicts A Biblical King, But Which One?
Two ladies, both in their mid-eighties, had been friends since they were in their twenties. And each week, now for over sixty years, they continued to meet to drink some coffee, play some cards and chat about life. One day, one said to the other, “You know, we’ve been friends for such a long time, and please don’t get upset with me, but I can’t recall your name. What is it?” The other, upon hearing this, looked at the woman for about a minute and then said, “How soon do you need to know it!”
Each year, there are about a dozen major simultaneous archaeological digs going on in the land of Israel. All are done under the auspices of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. And a number of discoveries have been made that provide confirmation and/or insightfulness regarding the biblical record, but this one is unique. A joint team of archaeologists from America (Azusa Pacific University) and Israel (Hebrew University) have been digging at an ancient site since 2013. But it was Mario Tobia, a first-time volunteer on his very first day that made the digging discovery. It is the only-ever found figurine depiction of an Israeli king from biblical times. Dr. Naama Mack, who heads up the entire dig (and has a doctorate in Iron Age archaeology), says it goes back about 3,000 years or to around 1,000 b.c. – based upon both her expertise and rigorous Carbon-14 dating tests. The head itself measures 2.2 inches and would have set upon an 8-10 inch body. Made of quartz paste, the glazed surface is tinted light green due to the addition of copper. The glossy tresses of black hair are kept in place by a royal headband that is painted in yellow and black. The almond-shape eyes and pupils are also lined in black and the pursed lips give a look that is part pensive, part stern. The beard is well-manicured with the bottom part missing. The findings will be published in the next quarterly issue of the publication, Near Eastern Archaeological Journal. The head itself is currently on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. But the who mystery remains. What king are we actually looking at? King David? King Solomon? King Rehoboam? King Jeroboam? Your guess is as good as mine, or any other.