- Museum number
- Object: Jericho skull
"Jericho skull"; a human cranium with a face modelled 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.
- Production date
8200BC-7500BC (Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B)
Height: 17 centimetres
Length: 12.80 centimetres (between side parietals)
Length: 13.40 centimetres (bewteen top parietals)
Length: 16.40 centimetres (nose to back Y-suture)
Length: 11.20 centimetres (nose to top Y-suture)
Weight: 3.40 kilograms
Width: 14.60 centimetres
Depth: 18 centimetres
- 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).
- Bibliographic references
British Museum Report of the Trustees 1966 / Report of the Trustees 1966 (p.38)
Fletcher, Antoine and Hill 2014 / Regarding the Dead: Human Remains in the British Museum (p.29, p.91-102, p.92, table.1, p.93, pl.1-2, p.94, pl.3, p.95, pl.4-5, p.96, pl.6-8, p.97, pl.9-10, p.98, pl.11-12, p.99, pl.13-15)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2022 28 Jun - 9 Oct, Zaragoza, Caixa Forum, “Human Image”
2022 16 Feb – 29 May, Seville, Caixa Forum, “Human Image”
2021 - 2022 27 Apr – 16 Jan, Madrid, Caixa Forum, “Human Image”
2016-2017 Dec-Feb, British Museum, Room 3
2015-2016, Dec-Mar, Seoul Arts Centre, 'Human Image'
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
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Acquisition of this collection reported in British Museum Report of the Trustees 1966, p. 38.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number