The Jericho Skull

My favorite piece: The Jericho Skull “The oldest portrait in the Museum”

The Jericho Skull, about 9,500 years old, is a plaster covered skull. This technique was used for prominent people. Plaster was used to cover the skull, giving it a face. The eyes are clam-shells. It was discovered in 1953.

The exhibit was located in a small room near the entrance, I almost passed it up. The ancient Jericho Skull is located front and center. The exhibit walks you through the discovery of the skull at an excavation site and the reconstruction process.

Recent imaging techniques show the skulls inside the plaster cover, allowing the 3D reconstruction of the skull and a model of the head. Varying thickness of the skull shows that it was wrapped tightly from infancy with the purpose to permanently change the shape of the skull. Head binding is found across the world in a variety of cultures. The 3D model of the head showed how the man would look in life, it was rebuilt from the skull images muscle by muscle.

I found this exhibit interesting and well organized. It was awesome to see such an ancient artifact and have it given life by 3D reconstruction.

http://www.britishmuseum.org 

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