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10,000-Year-Old Carved Faces Unearthed in Syria

Thursday, March 13, 2014

(Ibáñez et al, Antiquity, 2014)PARIS, FRANCE—Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a roughly 10,000-year-old staff carved with two human faces with closed eyes at Tell Qarassa in southern Syria. The wand, made of the rib of an auroch and broken at both ends, was found near a cemetery where 30 people had been buried without their heads. (The heads were found elsewhere in the settlement.) Frank Braemer of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique told Live Science that he thinks the wand may have been used in a funeral ritual by these early farmers, who grew emmer, barley, chickpeas, lentils. “The find is very unusual. It’s unique,” he added.