Old Babylonian Fired Clay Plaque of Horned Goat


A finely modelled Old Babylonian fired clay plaque, presenting a standing quadruped animal with curved horns. From the naturalistic manner of the depiction, most likely the plaque represents the figure of a wild goat. It is portrayed standing, with its slender legs parted and supporting a long torso. Detailing has been made to the pointed hooves and strong muscles of its legs. The goat is depicted with a thick, curved neck which leads to a detailed head. The animal appears with an open mouth as though braying, delicate ears and almond-shaped eyes. The prominent and elongated horns mark this animal out as an Ibex, either the Nubian or Ethiopian type.

The back of the plaque is unworked.


Date: Circa 1800 BC
Provenance: Ex S.M. Collection, London, Mayfair, acquired 1969-1999s.
Condition: Good condition, the left bottom corner is chipped away, with small chips around the edge

In stock

SKU: HL-438 Category: Tags: ,

Within traditional Mesopotamian glyphic arts, Babylonian terracotta modelled plaques were heavily influenced by the iconographies and narrative scenes depicted on Mesopotamian cylinder seals. The latter were the significant cornerstone of understanding Babylonian plaques, from which most of the subjects and styles presented are derived. Terracotta plaques and cylinder seals, are the two most significant genres that support and enrich each others pictorial categories. The presented scenes and images reflect favoured motifs and conventional daily, cultic scenes. Zoomorphic representations, including sheep, goat, bull, lion and feline, were favoured by Mesopotamian glyphic artists from the Uruk period (circa 3500-3000BC). Within traditional Mesopotamian religion, animals were closely associated with the God of Shepherds, Dumuzid, who personifies the generative and rejuvenating power of nature.

Weight 208 g
Dimensions W 12.4 x H 10.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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