Description This stylized statuette depicts a bearded man holding his hands in a gesture of prayer. Details of the face, hair, and body are created by adding simple rounded sections of clay and incising or pinching the surface, yet the man wears ornaments, such as a diadem and a highly textured necklace or garland, that may indicate a high status. His arms are crudely formed sections of clay, with incised marks to indicate his fingers, bent at the elbows and pressed against his flattened, triangular torso. The lower half of the statuette forms a column or pillar ending in a flaring cup. Finger marks are visible from shaping the cup, but it appears an instrument was used to smooth the surface of the column. The buff-colored clay was left unpainted. Statuettes of this style were produced in the area of the Euphrates River, particularly in the region of what is now Lake Assad, during the Early Bronze Age. Similar statuettes depicting women holding their breasts in a gesture of offering have also been found in this region. The statuettes have been interpreted as deities, but the gesture of the male figures, which corresponds closely with those of stone sculptures from the same period and region, seems more appropriate to the representation of a human in the act of worshipping a deity.
Provenance Sale, Sotheby 's, November 20th, 21st, 1975, no. 42; Walters Art Museum, 1975, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1975
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