GREEK GOD PAN. The Pan mask unearthed at Hippos, Israel, depicts a youth with horns, pointed ears and strands of a goat beard. Photo: M. Eisenberg
In November 2014, the team at Antiochia Hippos, Israel, uncovered an extraordinary artifact—a large bronze mask of the Greek god Pan (or Faunus in the Roman pantheon). The mask depicts a young man with small horns on his head, a forelock, long pointed ears and strands of a goat beard. With glazed, furious eyes and a gaping mouth, the Pan mask appears to watch the passing world.
Michael Eisenberg, Director of the Hippos-Sussita Excavations, details this new discovery in “Pan at Hippos—Face of Greek God Unearthed,”published in the November/December 2015 issue ofBiblical Archaeology Review. Weighing more than 11 pounds and measuring nearly 12 inches tall, the Pan maskis made of well-cast bronze. It was discovered outside the walled city of Hippos, Israel—in a basalt tower with 6.5-foot-wide exterior walls.
Dr. Alexander Iermolin, the head conservator at the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at Haifa University, uncovered the Pan mask above a first-century C.E. floor while operating a metal detector in the basalt tower. Although the mask was not found in situ on the floor, it should also be dated to the first–second centuries C.E.