“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto for I am Hashem your God.” Leviticus 26:1 (The Israel Bible™)
According to Gilad Itach, the IAA’s excavation director, the eight-inch-tall figurine sitting upon a jug was unearthed on the last day of excavations at a site in the central Israeli town of Yehud, before construction was about to commence.
“It seems that at first the jug, which is typical of the period, was prepared, and afterwards the unique sculpture was added, the likes of which have never before been discovered in previous research,” Itach said. “The level of precision and attention to detail in creating this almost 4,000-year-old sculpture is extremely impressive.”
“The neck of the jug served as a base for forming the upper portion of the figure, after which the arms, legs, and a face were added to the sculpture,” he added. “One can see that the face of the figure seems to be resting on its hand as if in a state of reflection.”
The figurine was discovered along with a number of other items, including daggers, an axe head, and arrows that archaeologists believe were buried as part of funeral offers for a respected member of the ancient community.
The Israeli high schoolers who took part in the dig were part of a new high school matriculation program offered by the IAA and the Israeli Education Ministry to help train future archaeologists.