The Ain Ghazal statues are some of the oldest large-size depictions of the human form. These range from 8000-7000 BCE and were found in Ain Ghazal (hence the name) in Jordan. Some of the cache are distributed (London, Paris, Abu Dhabi) while the rest are (hopefully still) on display at the museum in Amman, Jordan.
This piece was, thankfully for me, on display at the Louvre while I visited.
The status is made of limestone plaster applied over a reed core. The latter has, of course, long since disappeared. While most of the body is stylistically carved, the face has been created with care, the eyes being outlined with bitumen.
We cannot guess what the purpose was behind these statues, the commonest guess being that they represent some sort of ancestor worship. They were found carefully buried in holes under abandoned houses so maybe there was a component of ancestor spirits guarding the dwelling as well?
Either way, it left me spellbound to look across nine millennia into the eyes of my/our ancestors… Museums really are time machines for people with the imagination to travel!