Israel Museum/Zev Radovan

Staring at us from a time before ceramics were invented is this grey mask, part of the Dayan collection. The mask was found in the remains of a tomb near Hebron together with various objects dated to the Neolithic period (8000–4000 B.C.). It is carved out of chalk stone; the solid nose and circles around the eyes jut out slightly, while the eye and mouth openings as well as the holes around the mask were bored out. The mask is presumed to have had a cultic purpose.