The British Museum podcast: The Walls of Jericho

The ideal scenario for any archaeologist? Finding something different. Something unexpected. Something that had never been found by anyone before.

But what if you made this discovery in the middle of the Jordan Valley, on the last day of excavations, with most of your equipment already packed up and only a handful of staff still on site?

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This is exactly what happened to the archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon at Jericho in April 1953. One of her team, Peter Parr, had finished the final recording for the work done that year and pointed out that a stone protruding from the side of his trench was a skull. Concerned that it might be damaged through being left exposed, he and Kenyon decided to excavate. What they found continues to fascinate archaeologists – and the wider public – today.

Explore the Jericho skull in 3D

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The Asahi Shimbun Display Creating an ancestor: the Jericho Skull is on display in Room 3 at the British Museum until 19 February 2017.

Supported by The Asahi Shimbun.

The British Museum is committed to curating the human remains in the collection with care, respect and dignity. The principles governing the holding, display, care and study of human remains in the Museum’s collection can be found online in the British Museum Policy on Human Remains.