Iranian (?) / Head of a ruler / 2300-2000 B.C.Iranian (?)
Head of a ruler
2300-2000 B.C.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Persian
Creator Name-CRT: Iranian (?)
Title: Head of a ruler
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -230
Creation End Date: -200
Creation Date: 2300-2000 B.C.
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Arsenical copper
Dimensions: H. 13.5 in. (34.3 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 47.100.80
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1947

During the later third millennium B.C., Mesopotamia was ruled by successive territorial empires. The first-the Akkadian Empire (2350-2150 B.C.) was centered at Agade, a city still not located by archaeologists but probably near modern Baghdad. The official language of this empire was Akkadian, a Semitic language that differed greatly from Sumerian, which previously had been the predominant language of Mesopotamia. In addition to its political and economic innovations in administering a large territory, the Akkadian court produced innovative art in a powerful and naturalistic style.

This magnificent head portrays a king of the late third millennium B.C. Its heavy-lidded eyes, prominent but unexaggerated nose, full lips, and enlarged ears all suggest a portrait of an actual person. While the date and place of manufacture of this piece have been much debated, its close similarity to the magnificent bronze head found at Nineveh make a late third millennium date most likely. The head is cast almost solid (making it extremely heavy), but a dowel hole at the base would have served to join it to a body or other support, most likely for display in a temple setting.

AMICA ID: MMA_.47.100.80
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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