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The head of an ancient figurine discovered at the archaeological site identified as the biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah was recently put on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The intricately carved head reveals a regal-looking man with a black beard and black hair encircled with a yellow crown. Scholars have suggested that it represents a king, although which king is unknown. Given that the head dates to the ninth century BC, a time when Abel Beth Maacah changed hands between several ancient kingdoms, researchers have suggested it could depict the face of King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram-Damascus, or King Ethbaal of Tyre – all biblical kings. It was discovered in a dirt clod located in a large building at the summit of the site, possibly an ancient citadel. Abel Beth Maacah is located in northern Israel, near the border of Lebanon. It is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, including 1 Kings 15:20, which mentions Able Beth Maacah as one of the cities Ben Hadad, King of Syria in Damascus, conquered from the kingdom of Israel.

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