What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

Jericho skull

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    127414

  • Title (object)

    • Jericho skull
  • Description

    "Jericho skull"; a plastered human skull; the skull was taken as the base and the features of the face were modelled on it in plaster. One eye is made from a bivalve shell divided in two. The other has one, smaller, complete shell in place and is missing its twin.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 8500BC-6000BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 17 centimetres
    • Width: 14.6 centimetres
    • Length: 11.2 centimetres (nose to top Y-suture)
    • Length: 16.4 centimetres (nose to back Y-suture)
    • Length: 13.4 centimetres (bewteen top parietals)
    • Length: 12.8 centimetres (between side parietals)
    • Depth: 18 centimetres
    • Weight: 3.4 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

    Headless skeletons in burials of this period have been found, and it is probable that the removal of the skulls for use in this way had some religious purpose, perhaps connected with an ancestor cult.

    Three photographs exist of this object taken after registration (1954), they were taken by an external photographer, Walter Bird (49, Queen's Gate, Knightsbridge, London). The views are
    lateral left side down, three-quarters left side down, and full front. The skull was sent to the Natural History Museum between 7 March and 25 July 1958 for casting (WAA Transfers Book). In that year it was temporarily exhibited in a glass case in the north side of the Assyrian Room, but prior to that it was temporarily exhibited in the Hittite Room (according to departmental correspondence to/from Miss Sachse (q.v.), dated 1958).

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • British Museum Report of the Trustees 1966 p.38 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G59/LEV/1

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2015-2016, Human Image loan tour – PROMISED
    2007, 19 Jan-17 Jun, Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum, 'The Earliest Monuments of Mankind'

    2002, 24 Mar-30 Jun, Ruhrlandmuseum, Essen 'Bodies Recreated'.

    1958, Assyrian Room, in glass case on north side

    ca 1957, Hittite Room

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    12 October 1990

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Clean, repair.

    Condition

    Dusty, lifting flake of bone on front of skull

    Treatment details

    Vacuum cleaned; lifting bone reattatched with HMG cellulose nitrate adhesive.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1954

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquisition of this collection reported in British Museum Report of the Trustees 1966, p. 38

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    127414

  • Registration number

    1954,0215.1

Jericho skull: plastered skull, one of a number dating from the 7th millennium BC. In each case, a skull was taken as the base and the features of the face were modelled on it in plaster. The eyes are made of bivalve shells. Headless skeletons in burials of this period have been found, and it is probable that the removal of the skulls for use in this way had some religious purpose, perhaps connected with an ancestor cult; nose damaged. One eye is made from a bivalve shell divided in two. The other has one, smaller, complete shell in place and is missing its twin.

Jericho skull: plastered skull, one of a number dating from the 7th millennium BC. In each case, a skull was taken as the base and the features of the face were modelled on it in plaster. The eyes are made of bivalve shells. Headless skeletons in burials of this period have been found, and it is probable that the removal of the skulls for use in this way had some religious purpose, perhaps connected with an ancestor cult; nose damaged. One eye is made from a bivalve shell divided in two. The other has one, smaller, complete shell in place and is missing its twin.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: WCO23164

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...