Israel Antiquities Authority

A beakish nose, pointy horns, sideburns, goatee, and knobby eyes and ears create an enigmatic profile on this Chalcolithic cult statue, called a pillar figure, from Rasm H|arbush, in the Golan. Carved from local black basalt, the statue was apparently used during domestic fertility rites, when offerings were placed in a shallow bowl at top to ensure productive herds.

Derived from the Greek terms khalkos (copper) and lithos (stone), the Chalcolithic period (c. 4500 B.C.E. to 3500 B.C.E.) bridges the Stone and Bronze Ages. Pillar figures, pottery jugs, basalt artifacts, architectural remains and other antiquities recovered by author Claire Epstein during the past 20 years create a vivid picture of the Chalcolithic culture that thrived in the Golan during the second half of the fifth and the early fourth millennium B.C.E.