Sculpture of an unidentified Pharaoh from 23rd century BC

Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Hazor, Israel, unearthed a broken head of a sculpture dating back 4300 years believed to depict a yet unidentified Pharaoh.

Different views of the head (by Gaby Laron, Hebrew University & Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in memory of Yigael Yadin)

The artefact was originally discovered and reconstructed in 1995, but it has become a subject of a recent study. It is believed that the head of the sculpture was smashed around 3300 years ago, possibly after Israeli army led by Joshua destroyed the city. Researchers state that the person depicted wears a short, close-fitting, curled cap wig, topped by a uraeus, the solar cobra that rises above the forehead of a Pharaoh in ancient Egyptian iconography, thus identifying our character as a king of Egypt beyond any doubt. Facial features on the piece are characteristic of the 5th Dynasty, ca 2465-2323 BC. At Hazor a number of Egyptian statues and statuary fragments have also been discovered so far, including one having the paws of a sphinx – all of them appear to have been deliberately smashed to pieces.

Head of the statue (by Gaby Laron, Hebrew University & Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in memory of Yigael Yadin)

(after Gaby Laron, Hebrew University, Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in memory of Yigael Yadin & Live Science)

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