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28 May 2015
The earliest depiction of a music scene

Israeli archaeologists found what they think is Israel's most ancient depiction of a music scene, Israel Antiquities Authority announced. The scene appears on a rare 5,000-year-old large storage vessel from the Early Bronze Age.
     The relic was found in the 1970s at the Bet Ha-'Emeq site in the Western Galilee in northern Israel during an archaeological survey, but it was only recently that researchers have deciphered it. The impression was made by rolling a cylinder seal along the surface of clay, forming a series of repeating designs. It portrays three female figures, two standing and one sitting and playing a lyre.
     According to the researchers, the impression reflects a musical rite which was part of a complex ritual known in Mesopotamia as the 'sacred marriage', a symbolic union between the king and a goddess (actually represented by a priestess). "This is the first time it is definitely possible to identify a figure playing an instrument on a seal impression from the third millennium BCE," said the researchers.

Edited from Indo Asian News Service (26 May 2015)

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