Photo by David Harris

The bits and pieces of almost 80 elegantly sculpted anthropomorphic clay figurines have been found at Sha‘ar Hagolan. Most of these figurines, including the 5-inch-high, red-painted figurine shown here, depict a seated woman with grossly exaggerated thighs and buttocks. The face is composed of two elongated, slanted eyes and a bulbous nose. The two rounded lumps of clay on either side of the figure’s head may represent earrings. Some archaeologists have designated these sculptures “fertility figurines,” but it remains unclear just what role they played in Yarmukian culture.