Astarte (Phoenician), Ishtar (Akkadian) or Inanna (Sumerian) was the most important female deity in Mesopotamia throughout the second millennium BC. She was identified with the planet Venus and with the sunrise, and was recognised as the goddess of both sexual love and warfare. The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite. She is commonly depicted naked sometimes with the presence of lions or with wings and a headdress consisting of a solar disc and crescent moon.
Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Astarte Figure
A Neo-Babylonian figure of the fertility goddess Astarte moulded from terracotta. She appears facing forward with her arms bent at the elbows and her hands clasped below her breasts. Prominent facial features including the nose and eye brows have been naturalistically rendered. She wears an ornate headdress further enriching the piece, the reverse remains unworked.
Provenance: Ex private collection, S.M., London, acquired 1970-99.
Condition: Fine condition, chip to back.