TEMPLE WORSHIPPER - ($60 US)
Mari 2900 BC
Light ochre stone gypsum statue, 195 mm (7.75 inches), base 60 x 50 mm (4.5 x 4"), with parchment description.
Replica of dedicatory temple statue from the Temple of Ishtar in the ancient Sumerian frontier city of Mari.
The statue is seated with hands clasped in an attitude of prayer. Naked above the waist, the figure wears a woolen skirt woven in a pattern of overlapping petals. With typically Sumerian shaved head and the carefully curled beard of the Mari citizen, the statue has wide-open eyes (originally white with inlaid blue-stone pupils) to indicate attentiveness toward the deity.
During the Sumerian Early Dynastic Period (2900-2350 BC) life in ancient Mesopotamia was centered on spiritual worship. Access to the inner sanctum of the temples was limited to the priests and it became customary for people to commission statues to represent them before the deity. Priests would arrange them in rows before the altar at special times of worship.
Usually made of gypsum or soapstone, hundreds of similar votive statues have been discovered in temple ruins throughout Mesopotamia.
The sculpture from the north Syrian Sumerian outpost of Mari presented the finest examples and is defined by its vitality and naturalism with careful modeling and accurate proportions.
Known in ancient times for their exotic clothes and hairstyles, the male figurines from Mari wear distinctive curled beards which are elaborated by drilled holes to separate the wavy strands of the beard, a hallmark unique to Mari sculpture.
Ground: $12 Australian dollars - Australia New Zealand
Air: $14.50 USD - Asia, India, Pacific, Japan
Air: $17.00 USD - USA & Canada
Air: $21.00 USD - EEurope, Scandinavia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Mediterranean, Africa, South America & most other locations
Airmail Europe, USA & Canada 8-14 days