A Neolithic era staff engraved with two realistic human faces has been discovered near a graveyard where some 30 people were buried without their heads. Archaeologists are now trying to determine what the ancient Syrians used it for.
The bone wand was first uncovered during excavations in 2007 and 2009 at a site in southern Syria called Tell Qarassa. Strangely, the artifact and skeletons had previously been dug up and placed near an inhabited portion of the settlement. Juan José Ibáñez and his colleagues made the discovery before the civil war, but thankfully the area has escaped damage. The site dates back to the late ninth millennium BC.
The bone wand, which was found in a funerary layer, was likely carved from the rib of an auroch (a wild ancestor of the cow). It depicts two carved human faces and was likely used in funeral rituals.