Move Over, Rodin: 4,000 Year Old “Thinker” Discovered In Israel

Auguste Rodin’s “Thinker,” a ubiquitous image in high-art circles and meme-generating communities alike, has new competition: Haaretz reports an archaeological dig in Yehud has uncovered a Bronze Age ceramic jug featuring a “Thinker”-like figure. (Make that old competition.)

Quoted by Haaretz’s Nir Hasson and Ruth Schuster, Gilad Itach, directing the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, said it appears the jug and figure were created separately. “It seems that at first the jug, which is typical of the period, was prepared, and afterwards the unique sculpture was added,” he said. The jug is estimated to be close to 4,000 years old.

Aside from its resemblance to Rodin’s famed sculpture, Itach said the newly uncovered figure is remarkable for the clarity of detail it features, uncommon in the era during which it was created. He hypothesized the site at Yehud, which has yielded weapons and animal bones from the same era as the jug, might have been associated with funerary practices. Artifacts dating back 6,000 years were also found at the site, including a butter churn, tools, and shards of pottery.

Fingers crossed the next great find will be a pre-Common Era “Pieta;” that would really throw us for a loop.


Talya Zax

Talya Zax

Talya Zax is the Forward’s deputy culture editor. Contact her at or on Twitter, @TalyaZax.

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Move Over, Rodin: 4,000 Year Old “Thinker” Discovered In Israel

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