Masks are something that we don’t think much about in the modern world. At certain times of the year, you could walk into just about any retail store in the US and walk out with a mask made of plastic or other materials. Masks have been around much longer than you might think and some of the world’s oldest masks are on display in Jerusalem.
The masks are about 9,000 years old and are believed to have been made by ancient humans at the dawn of the change from hunter gatherers to an agricultural society. Researchers believe that the masks were made to resemble the spirits of dead ancestors.
The masks have clearly human features like round eyes, prominent brows, and teeth. The masks are a representation of the first communal rituals of civilizations. Experts believe that all of the masks were made in the same location, in the hills and deserts near Jerusalem.
One of the most remarkable things about the multiple masks on display is that they were all made in an approximately 20-mile radius from Jerusalem. The masks were made in the pre-pottery Neolithic period by people who were the first farmers. Most of the masks on display were in the hands of private collectors.