Rare Bronze-Age ‘Thinking Man’ Statuette Found in Israel

The small 'thinker' is unlike any other previous findings unearthed in Israel.

A 3,800-year-old pottery jug bearing a figure who appears to be contemplating life, resembling the pose of the figure in Rodin’s The Thinker, has been unearthed in Israel by a team of archaeologists and high-school students.

The endearing figurine—which is a mere 7 inches tall—was found during an excavation in Yehud, a suburb of Tel-Aviv. He sits atop the jug with knees bent, head in hands, seemingly absorbed in thought. According to Reuters, the Israel Antiquities Authority date the jug back to the Middle Bronze Age.

“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 been discovered in previous research,” said Gilad Itach, director of the excavation.

Other items were discovered along with the jug, including daggers, arrowheads, an axe head, sheep bones, and what are believed to be donkey bones, suggesting that the findings were funeral offerings for an important member of the community.

“To the best of my knowledge such a rich funerary assemblage that also includes such a unique pottery vessel has never before been discovered in the country,” Itach continued.

The excavations are part of a major series currently being carried out the Israel Antiquities Authority in an effort to ensure that no relics are destroyed, as cultural heritage destruction has continued to dominate headlines in recent months.

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