Syrian / Plaques: sphinxes / 8th century B.C.Syrian
Plaques: sphinxes
8th century B.C.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Syrian
Creator Name-CRT: Syrian
Title: Plaques: sphinxes
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -79
Creation End Date: -70
Creation Date: 8th century B.C.
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 4.9 in. (12.4 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 53.120.1-.2
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1953

The Levant and inland Syria were conquered in the eighth century B.C. by the Assyrian kings. Luxury goods, including carved ivory and metal objects, were produced by skilled Syrian and Phoenician craftsmen and came as tribute and booty to the Assyrian capital at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu).

Hammered from a single sheet of bronze, these plaques depict mythical sphinxes, creatures with a human head and the body of a winged lion. Their striding pose suggests that they once may have been shown approaching one another. The flamelike pattern on the hind leg was a common device for representing musculature at this time and appears on ivories from Hama, Nimrud, and Hasanlu. The plaques may have been used as inlays for furniture, or they may have been set into a wall or door. Whatever their use, they are examples of the finest known Syrian bronzes from the first millennium B.C.

AMICA ID: MMA_.53.120.1-.2
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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