northeastern Syria / Foundation peg in the shape of the forepart of a lion / 2200-2000 B.C.northeastern Syria
Foundation peg in the shape of the forepart of a lion
2200-2000 B.C.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Mesopotamian
Creator Name-CRT: northeastern Syria
Title: Foundation peg in the shape of the forepart of a lion
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -220
Creation End Date: -200
Creation Date: 2200-2000 B.C.
Creation Place: northeastern Syria
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 4.6 in. (11.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 48.180
Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1948

After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire and a brief period of decentralized rule, a dynasty ruling from the southern Mesopotamian city of Ur took over a large area of Mesopotamia, including areas in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, and ruled for about one hundred years (2100-2000 B.C.). During this period, a number of minor rulers maintained their independence at the margins of the empire. Among them were the kingdoms of Urkish and Nawar in northern Mesopotamia, a Hurrian-speaking area.

Based on its inscription, this bronze foundation peg in the form of a snarling lion almost certainly comes from the city of Urkish, modern Tell Mozan. On a very similar piece now in the Louvre, the lion holds under its paws a white stone tablet with an inscription that names the temple of the god Nergal. Pegs of this and other forms were placed in foundation deposits under temple walls as a dedication to the god. Their appearance in northern Mesopotamia represents the adoption of a practice from the south.

AMICA ID: MMA_.48.180
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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