The Syrian Golan is the home of the oldest sculpture in the world

The Syrian Golan, occupied by Israel since 1967, has a unique  cultural history dating back to the Paleolithic era.  The numerous artifacts document the existence of 170 archaeological sites in the  occupied Golan and prove that fine art has deep roots in that region, as archaeological findings indicate that the Syrian Golan is the home of the first attempts of plastic art in the world.

“The statue discovered in Golan represents the oldest creative sculpture work in the world and the oldest evidence to the emergence of the art of sculpture in this area”, Syrian historian, Dr. Mahmoud El-Sayyed, from the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (GDAM), said, according to a report published recently by SANA Arabic.

He indicated that this statue confirms that the symbolic expression in humans appeared at an early age of  the history of human life and that “Homo-Erectus” ( an extinct species of archaic human from the Pleistocene, with its earliest occurrence about 2 million years ago)  knew plastic art. This fact goes in contrary with some archaeologists' belief that the birth of plastic art had come in the last stages of the Neanderthal era, and that the art of sculpture preceded the art of painting.

The statue was discovered in 1981 in an archaeological site in Lake Ram area in the occupied Syrian Golan during the illegal excavations carried out  by the Zionist occupation.

 Pictures of the statue show that it has a female form and carved on a piece of local volcanic stone.  It is 3.5 cm long, 2.5 cm wide and 2.1 cm thick.

Microscopic analyses proved that the statue was not the product of natural erosion. Rather, it was formed by human hands and its natural shape was modified to produce a human image. The cracks were made by a tool made of flint stone with a sharp tip that was also used in shaping the head and arm.

In this context, another statue, similar to the one found in the occupied Syrian Golan, was discovered in the archaeological area in the Dar’a Valley near the city of Tan-Tan in the Arab Maghreb, but it is 6 cm longer and more modern in time and more advanced in terms of the tool used in sculpture and the method of expressing the human parts.  This confirms that the  occupied Golan’s  statue is the oldest human figurative art sculpture in the world.

Archaeological evidences, with their various forms and dates, confirm that the occupied  Golan is part and partial of the motherland Syria and that the archaeological sites in the occupied Golan are historically linked to successive civilizations over Syria, the cradle of civilizations and the original home of sculpture in the history of human civilization.

The foregoing approach confirms that the art of sculpture, which represents a manifestation of human creativity, was born in Syria before any other place in the world, and it is the art that the Syrian sculptors have resorted to since the Paleolithic era to embody their ideas and express themselves. The art of sculpture had preceded the art of painting, and that the  occupied Syrian Golan is the first home of this art.

Rawaa Ghanam