Early Dynastic II (c. 2700 BC)
Mesopotamia : Mesopotamian
Marble, shell or bone, lapis lazuli
h 31.1 x w 14 x d 9.5 cm
This figure is from ancient Mesopotamia. It is one of many such images found at the site of Tell Asmar in the Diyala region of Eastern Iraq, in the news now for its persistent violence. In contrast to the current turbulent mood, this calm man represents the dignity of Iraq’s great former civilisation. He is thought to embody the spirit of a worshipper, standing with folded arms in God’s presence. The detailed carving clearly represents the tight curls of his hair and beard and finely pleated and panelled skirt. The eyes originally had lapis lazuli pupils, increasing the intensity of his gaze.