The first option for scientists to do was to depict the skull underneath the layers of plaster, because maybe scientists might be able to figure out that this skull belonged to a worshipped king, for example. Scientists thought of taking X-rays of the skull, yet the plaster and soil obscured the visions bones, which resulted into seeing blob of whiteness in the x-ray. After X Rays with no luck, scientists turned to a machine called the micro CT where it helped them to depicture the skull, to find a new discovery. The revealing of the skull showed that it was in a very bad condition, from a few decayed teeth to damage to the bone done by abscesses (swollen area of body tissues containing pus). The micro CT also revealed that this skull belonged to a mature male adult along the age of 40, and that the skull’s upper jaw was removed.
Micro CT Scan of the Jericho Skull
"This work has also revealed new details about how the skull was prepared for plastering. The CT scans showed concentric rings of grits within the soil and a ball of finer clay sealing the access hole at the back. This suggests that the soil was deliberately put inside the skull to support the surface as the plaster face was being added. It is possible that the round piece of bone cut away to form the access hole was originally put back after the cranium had been filled. Although it was subsequently lost, its earlier presence may explain why the soft soil filling has survived so well” the text from blog.britishmuseum.org says. This evidence also shows that this specific way of compacting soil might have been an ancient ritual done for people who have been respected. All in all, scientists think that this was was about 40 years old and died with a toothache.
The Jericho Skull After the Micro CT Scan
Even though figuring out who this person was, we still haven’t had the faintest clue as to why they wrapped his skull in plaster, yet the evidence of the skull points to some factors. Some scientists think that it was for religious purposes as others think that he was like this because of social status in the civilization. From the website ancient-origins.net they have stated “Evidence suggests that the skulls were then displayed or stored with other plaster skulls”. This text shows that the people in this civilization might have done this multiple times, and have stored and displayed the skulls. This could show an ancient ritual as this was for the important people of the family, or loved ones who have died.
Example of An Ancient Ritual
Even with these predictions, the whole purpose of plastering these skulls is still obscured to us, yet if humans take little baby steps into the past, then maybe we might be able to have a full understanding of the past. So don’t be in frustration, because even though scientist statements start with a “might” or “probably” we still have the power to find and figure out the civilization behind the Jericho Skull.