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Five Statues from Ain Ghazal, Jordan

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Uploaded on Jan 25, 2011

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute staff preserve 9000 year old statues unearthed during road construction in Jordan.

Extraordinarily rare plaster statues dating from around 6500 B.C. were discovered in 1985 at the Neolithic site of 'Ain Ghazal, Jordan, on the outskirts of the capitol city Amman. Because of the fragility of the lime plaster, the entire contents of the pit containing the statues were encased in aluminum foil, polyurethane foam, and a wooden crate and sent to the Smithsonian Institution for a seven-year process of laboratory excavation and conservation treatment. The group includes two standing figures measuring around 1 meter in height and three unusual two-headed busts. Filming was done on five occasions from 1990 to 1996 before exhibition of the statues at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 1996-1997 and their return to Jordan for display at the Jordanian Archaeological Museum on the Citadel in Amman.

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