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An Exhibition of Ancient Mesopotamian Art

A Gathering of the Gods - the Power of Mesopotamian Religion

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Sumerian Limestone Bearded Orant Figure
Diyala Region, Iraq; circa 2600 BC; Height 3.2 inches

The upper half of a standing male orant statue is sculpted in fine-grained, tan limestone. The man has an intricately curled beard and long curled hair both arranged in straight horizontal rows of curls. His hair is parted in the middle and is drawn forward framing his beard and face; both hair and beard reach to his chest. Traces of black paint remain in his hair. His eyes are recessed to receive inlays, now missing. His eyebrows form a fine double arch meeting on the bridge of his nose. He has a large nose and a straight mouth. The man's hands are clasped at mid-chest holding a cylindrical offering vessel. Similar "praying figures" were excavated at Tell Asmar in the Diyala Region of Mesopotamia. An exceptional Sumerian stone sculpture.