Southern Mesopotamia / Head of a male / 2000-1600 B.C.Southern Mesopotamia
Head of a male
2000-1600 B.C.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Mesopotamian
Creator Active Place: Southern Mesopotamia
Creator Name-CRT: Southern Mesopotamia
Title: Head of a male
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -200
Creation End Date: -160
Creation Date: 2000-1600 B.C.
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: ceramic
Dimensions: H. 21 in. (53.3 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1972.96
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1972

During the Old Babylonian period (2000-1600 B.C.), after the collapse of the Third Dynasty of Ur, much of the Middle East-from western Syria to southern Iraq-was ruled by dynasties that claimed Amorite lineage. Amorite, a Semitic dialect like the Akkadian used earlier in Mesopotamia, had been spoken by nomads in the north since the mid-third millennium B.C. The most famous of these rulers was Hammurabi of Babylon, who is remembered for his monumental code of laws but was one of many powerful rulers who traded, negotiated, and fought with their neighbors. Temples played a smaller role in the economy of the Old Babylonian period than they had previously, but they remained significant in many ways.

This head, which originally would have been painted, was most likely set up in a temple. It is solid clay with an opening at the base that served to attach it to a mount or to a lower body, perhaps of wood. Its large, attentive eyes recall those of Early Dynastic worshiper figurines, but its large size suggests a possible role as a guardian figure.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1972.96
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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