One of the animal bones recovered from the site was revealed while cleaning to be an anthropomorphic figurine (length 21.5 cm, minimal shaft width 3.5 cm, minimal shaft circumference 11.7 cm; Figs. 2, 3). The figurine was made on a left shaft of a cattle femur. Part of the distal epiphysis was intentionally removed, and the resulting edge of the shaft was smoothed and polished, creating the base of the figurine. The proximal epiphysis and proximal end of the femur shaft were broken in antiquity, leaving a stepped fracture and a longitudinal crack. Judging by the size of the bone and its texture, it derives from an adult animal.
The bone bears an incised anthropomorphic figure intermingled with decorative motifs that cover most of the surface of one of its aspects. No additional working is evident on the other aspect of the shaft. The features of the incised figure are schematically drawn. On the proximal end of the shaft, two eyes are engraved. Each eye is outlined by incised, oval-shaped double lines. These paired lines join at the left and right inner extremities of the eyes like a pair of spectacles. The pupil is clearly depicted at the center of each eye as a large, round and shallow depression. Both above each eye and below them is a multitude of short, incised vertical lines that are placed close together, as if forming a fringe, that depicts the eyelashes. At a distance of 1 cm above the ‘lashes’ of the left eye (the upper right portion of the bone is missing) is a single incised line, topped again with multiple short, vertical lines, probably depicting the eyebrow. Above it are two additional lines, perhaps indicating a hairline or a head-dress. Below the eyes there is no depiction of a nose, a mouth or breasts. Instead, there is an incised pattern comprising three upright triangles filled with cross-hatching alternating with four single upright plant motifs, representing palm fronds or stalks of wheat. Below this decorative motif are two sets of three horizontal, parallel lines that delineate the entire worked area of the bone. These lines do not encircle the entire bone and are absent on the unworked aspect. The sets of lines are spaced 2.5–3.0 cm apart, and the space between them is filled with cross hatching, perhaps representing clothing and belts. Below the last set of lines is an inverted triangle that probably depicts a female pubis. It is filled with short vertical lines arraigned in a row. No engraving is found below or adjacent to the pubis outline.
The Newe Yam figurine closely resembles in raw material (a mammal bone), in shape and in its curved motifs ‘eye-idol’ figurines from Spain (Gimbutas 1989:54; Maicas Ramos 2009). In the southern Levant, the figurine resembles the incised, but much smaller, bone figurines from Ha-Gosherim (Getzov 2011: Fig. 10:43) and Kabri (Yizraeli-Noy 1999: Fig. 110). As discussed at length in Galili et al. (in press), these figurines represents the artistic and symbolic life of southern Levantine communities in the eighth millennium BP.