Erich Lessing

The mask shown here, with inlaid shells as eyes, was discovered by John Garstung in his excavations at Jericho from 1930–1936. After the skull was removed from its skeleton (compare with previous photo and photo of death masks), it was covered with a plaster mask, which was later painted with facial features using bitumen and other pigments. These portrait skulls were probably displayed in the home or in a shrine so that family members could consult them at leisure.