Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/16/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In spite of fierce civil war, some areas remain untouched

One of the biggest losses brought upon by the Syrian civil war, now in its fourth year, is the loss of priceless archaeological sites. Many of these sites have been looted or bombed since the war's onset, but there are notable exceptions. One of the most exciting finds has been a 9,000-year-old wand with two faces carved into it.

The wand was first uncovered during excavations in 2007 and 2009 at a site in southern Syria called Tell Qarassa. An artificial mound made from the debris of everyday human life had gradually built up in layers over millennia.

The wand was first uncovered during excavations in 2007 and 2009 at a site in southern Syria called Tell Qarassa. An artificial mound made from the debris of everyday human life had gradually built up in layers over millennia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/16/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, wand, funerary ritual


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The artifact was discovered near a graveyard where about 30 people were buried without their heads, found in a nearby living space.

"The find is very unusual. It's unique," study co-author Frank Braemer, an archaeologist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

WISH POPE FRANCIS A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Probably used in a long-lost funeral ritual, the wand is one of the only naturalistic depictions of human faces from this time and place, Braemer says.

The wand was first uncovered during excavations in 2007 and 2009 at a site in southern Syria called Tell Qarassa. An artificial mound made from the debris of everyday human life had gradually built up in layers over millennia.

Further archaeological evidence from the site suggests the ancient inhabitants were amongst the world's first farmers. There was evidence of the consumption of emmer, which is a type of wheat, barley, chickpeas and lentils, and herding or hunting goats, gazelles, pigs and deer.

As noted in the March issue of the journal Antiquity, after the skeletons and wand were buried, someone seems to have dug up and removed the skulls, placing them in the inhabited portion of the settlement.

The wand was probably carved from the rib of an auroch, the wild ancestor of cows, and was about 4.7 inches long. Two natural-looking faces, with eyes closed, were carved into the bone. The wand was intentionally broken at both ends, with more faces likely originally adorning the staff.

The item's purpose and symbolism remains shrouded in mystery. "It's clearly linked to funerary rituals, but what kind of rituals, it's impossible to tell," Braemer says.

Older artifacts typically showed stylized or schematic representations of humans, but realistic depictions of animals. Art unearthed in areas that are now Jordan and Anatolia from the same time period uses natural representations of the human form, suggesting this trend emerged simultaneously in regions throughout the Middle East, Braemer said.

The artistic innovation may have been tied to the emerging desire to create material representations of identity and personhood, the authors say.

However -- why someone dug up the skulls and placed them within the living areas of the settlement is also unclear. Archaeologists unearthed similar finds in Jericho, Israel, also dating to around 9,000 years ago, where the skulls of ancestors were covered with plaster and painted with facial features, then displayed in living spaces.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Middle East

Egyptian kings reigned with weapons from space? New study reveals shocking origins of King Tut's dagger Watch

Image of Research revealed King Tut's daggar was forged from a space element (Daniela Cornelli).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The mummy of King Tutankhamen, widely known as King Tut, was carefully unwrapped and certain surprising treasures were discovered. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A dagger made from an unusual metal was discovered carefully wrapped in King Tut's tomb.With help from ... continue reading


Is this the REAL Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? Watch

Image of The grenade is a surprisingly ancient weapon dating back to the Seventh century AD.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Is this the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? A suspicious object which archaeologists say is a hand grenade, has been publicized by Israeli antiquities curators. The object was retrieved from the Mediterranean coast by a power plant worker. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


American ISIS hostage left to die after Doctors Without Borders refused to help her Watch

Image of Kayla Mueller was raped, tortured and murdered at the hands of ISIS.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Kayla Mueller's parents speak out against Doctors Without Borders (DWB), which refused to negotiate for their daughter's release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kayla Mueller's parents, Marsha and Carl Mueller, told ABC News DWB refused to negotiate for their ... continue reading


The price of war: Child victims ignored in fight for power (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Omran Daqneesh, dazed and soaked in his own blood, witnessed his home being destroyed (Polaris).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The air is thick with dust and the ground is littered with debris. Buildings are crumbling and the sound of warplanes no longer send Syria's people running.This is the norm for Syria's citizens and her children are the most innocent of the victims. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Has the world forgotten about the Christian genocide in the Middle East? Watch

Image of Christians are still being murdered by ISIS which is extending its reach.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It may be the tragedy of the 21st century, and it's still ongoing, but most of the world seems to have forgotten. Two years ago, there was a massive outpouring of support for Christians in Syria and Iraq. Today, there's no more mention of them. What happened? LOS ... continue reading


Carmelites refuse to leave - Only 40,000 Christians left in Aleppo amid continuous airstrikes Watch

Image of Carmelites refuse to leave Aleppo.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Syrian and Russian forces continue to bombard Syria with continuous airstrikes but Carmelite nuns refuse to leave their convent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the <a ... continue reading


ISLAM is the RELIGION OF PIECES - Here is a list of every terror attack in the past 30 days Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Islam, the "religion of peace" has killed over 1,000 people and injured nearly another 2,000 in the past 30 days alone. The peaceful religion of Islam makes one shiver to think what a hostile religion would do. Buddhism.Christianity.Islam.Hinduism.Taoism.One of these ... continue reading


Hostage proves Obama is a LIAR about Iran ransom money Watch

Image of American pastor, Saeed Abedini told Trish Regan that his captors explained the U.S. was paying ransom to Iran.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There's new evidence that Obama's $400 million payment to Iran was ransom money. One of the hostages freed by Obama's timely payment told "The Intelligence Report" that their captors said they were waiting on another plane, referring to the money. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Christian persecution rises and the West does nothing Watch

Image of Christian persecution continues.

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

Religious freedom is for non-Muslims in the Middle East, too, a Syrian Catholic leader said in a strong warning about the future of the region's Christians and about the "Machiavellian" nature of Western foreign policy. Toronto, Canada (CNA/EWTN News) - "My friends, ... continue reading


Jesus the 'slave of Allah?' - Islamic State magazine mocks Christ Watch

Image of The Islamic State's latest issue of Dabiq claims Christ was a slave to Allah (Dabiq).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

This month's issue of the Islamic State's English-language magazine, Dabiq, featured an article on why Jesus is a "slave of Allah." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the magazine, which can be read in full at Heavy.com, radicals truly believe everyone, ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put to ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2016 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know ... Read More