Middle East

Israel unveils Bronze Age 'Thinker' figurine

Bronze Age figure found by archaeologists in Israel Image copyright AFP
Image caption The intriguing Bronze Age figure was found by archaeologists in Israel

A small figurine, almost 4,000 years old and sitting in a pensive pose, has been unveiled in Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said that the thoughtful, hat-wearing figure was discovered in recent excavations in Yehud, east of Tel Aviv.

The ornament topped a jug in the Middle Bronze Age and was found in a grave.

The Times of Israel compared the figure's head-in-hands pose to The Thinker, the famous work by French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Yet at just 18cm (7in) tall, the Israeli discovery comes in 10 times smaller than Rodin's famous bronze from the turn of the 20th Century.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The ancient sculpture is being compared to The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

The IAA's excavation director, Gilad Itach, said the piece was "unique" as it was the first such example found in Israel, noting an "impressive" attention to detail.

He also said its inclusion in a grave would indicate that the deceased was a person of importance.

Other offerings found nearby included daggers, arrowheads and an axe head.

Mr Itach said it was hard to determine who created the mysterious figure, or who it was buried with, as there was no writing found at the scene.

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