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Home / Science / The archaeologist says the 3,000-year-old clay heads are in the face of God

The archaeologist says the 3,000-year-old clay heads are in the face of God



A handful of 3,000-year-old ‘male’ clay heads discovered in Israel may reveal the earliest description of God’s face.

The figures were excavated along the small side statues of the horse and represent a bearded man with a flat high head, elongated features, ear holes for jewelry and topped with a crown.

The controversial claim comes from Professor Yosef Garfinkel, who refers to the biblical scriptures of God riding a horse to add weight to this theory.

However, Garfinkel’s idea has been refuted by a number of archaeologists who argue that the creation of ‘everything in heaven above’ was forbidden during this time period.

A '3000' clay-age clay fist discovered in Israel could reveal the earliest description of God's face

A ‘3000’ clay-age clay fist discovered in Israel could reveal the earliest description of God’s face

Garfinkle, who is a professor at the Hebrew University, is backing up these claims by the fact that the three figures date from the 9th and 10th centuries, were found near horse statues and in places of worship.

A head was discovered a decade ago in Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles from Tel Motza where Shua Kisilevitz and Oded Lipschits discovered two others earlier this year.

Following the news from Tel Motza, Garfinkle began to ask if the clay heads were tied, is this a god and if so, who next?

And he looked in the book of Habakkuk and the Psalms to find the answers.

The figures were excavated along the small side statues of the horse and represent a bearded man with a flat high head, elongated features, ear holes for jewelry and topped with a crown

The figures were excavated along the small side statues of the horse and represent a bearded man with a flat high head, elongated features, ear holes for jewelry and topped with a crown

Garfinkle, who is a professor at the Hebrew University, is backing up these claims by the fact that all three figurations date from the 9th and 10th centuries, were found near horse statues and in places of worship

Garfinkle, who is a professor at the Hebrew University, is backing up these claims by the fact that all three figurations date from the 9th and 10th centuries, were found near horse statues and in places of worship

Habakkuk 3: 8 reads: ‘Are you angry with the rivers, Lord? Was your anger against the streams? Were you enraged against the sea when you rode your horses and chariots to victory? ‘

The second example he found was shown at Psalm 68: 4, which says: ‘Sing to God, sing praises to his name; sing a song of him that climbs above the clouds. ‘

‘Some biblical traditions, therefore, describe God as a knight in heaven or clouds, just as in Ugarit. But some texts represent a new development in which he is riding a horse, ‘Garfinkle said in an article in the BAS Library.

Other clay heads found at Tel Motza were pulled from a temple near Jerusalem, and because of Bible-based instructions forbidding such images, the team proposes that the area be used to worship a variety of different gods – ‘not just God.’

A head was discovered a decade ago in Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles from Tel Motza where Shua Kisilevitz and Oded Lipschits discovered two others earlier this year.

A head was discovered a decade ago in Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles from Tel Motza where Shua Kisilevitz and Oded Lipschits discovered two others earlier this year.

A head was discovered a decade ago in Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles from Tel Motza where Shua Kisilevitz (right) and Oded Lipschits discovered two others earlier this year.

A head was discovered a decade ago in Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles from Tel Motza where Shua Kisilevitz (right) and Oded Lipschits discovered two others earlier this year.

Kisilevitz and Oded Lipschits wrote: ‘Unfortunately, this article is pure sensationalism that attracts popular demand, that generates money, to present an unfounded and (at best) provocative identification as factual, as it ignores research and existing professional studies, including avoiding reference to any of the excavator publications. ‘

Garfinkel addresses that the Bible is too clear about the prohibition against physical representations of god.

The nearby settlements actually prayed to many gods, but ‘the Kingdom of Judah was a different story and relied on two concepts – that there is only one god and not many, and that you should not create a statute, a buried image of it , ‘e ndau ai.

About 3,000 years ago there were those who worshiped the Lord and then the Lord of the Canaanite storm occurred.

‘The Canaanites,’ writes Garfinkel, ‘did not describe a male god on a horse.

‘Only in Iron Age texts and iconography did the horse become a divine companion animal.’

‘So the iconographic elements of the figures correspond to the descriptions of God in the biblical tradition.’

He also argues that the ban on the creation of images of God was not passed until the 10th century, when clay heads were in use.

Garfinkle has received widespread criticism for his claims but said: ‘Like any revelation, some will accept and some will oppose’.

The controversial claim comes from Professor Yosef Garfinkel, who refers to the biblical scriptures of God riding a horse to add weight to this theory

However, Shua Kisilevitz refutes the claim he cites that humans were forbidden to create images of God during this time

The controversial claim comes from Professor Yosef Garfinkel (left), who refers to the biblical scriptures of God riding a horse to add weight to this theory. However, Shua Kisilevitz (right) opposes the claim stating that people were forbidden to create images of God during this time

Kisilevitz and Lipschits reject his claims, although they agree that the figures were used for worship – the team describes them as ‘human figures’.

“While we cannot rule out the possibility that human heads from Motza and Qeiyafa described gods, they have no signs, symbols or attributes (such as horns, crescents, bulls) found in figures and visual representations throughout the Middle East. antiquity, which would identify them as divine figures. ‘

‘Moreover, when the gods were described to the animals, they did not sit on them (they do not need transport) – they stood on them!’ they wrote.


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