At the historic Greco-Roman site Hippos-Sussita, archaeologists were on an unusual winter dig – most excavations take place in the summer – looking for coins to help date other recent finds at the site. What they found was much bigger than a coin. Archeologists uncovered a human-sized bronze mask of Pan, the half-human, half-goat god of shepherds and friend of the various nymphs in Greek mythology.
The Bronze Mask of Pan: A Unexpected Find
At first the researchers weren’t sure who the mask depicted until they uncovered a pair of small forehead horn and a goat-like beard characteristic of the Greek god.
Though Hippos-Sussita is located on a rise above the Sea of Galilee, the city Banyan, slightly north of the dig site, contained a famously known temple to the god Pan who main altar was inside a cave.
The researchers postulate that the heavy-mask may have been associated with a roadside altar affiliated with the cave-temple.
The archaeological group responsible for the discovery is affiliated with the University of Haifa.
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Sources: ”Archeologists Find Rare Bronze Mask of Pan” Sci-News.