Elamite Bronze Attachment of a Male Deity


A finely modelled Elamite bronze attachment of a male figure. The form is portrayed standing, facing frontally, and gazing forward. His feet are close together and his arms are placed along his body. The facial features have been flattened with age with a mouth and two incised dots for the eyes remaining visible. Similar circular incisions decorate the tunic, possibly suggesting the texture of the traditional woollen robes; kaunakes. The figure is wearing an elaborate headdress with curved horns. This detail potentially identifies the figure as an ancient Elamite deity, Inshushinak, a tutelary god of the city of Susa in Elam. The reverse remains undecorated with two flat bronze pins and possibly a catchplate fragment remaining. Mounted on a custom made stand.

Date: Circa 1500-1200 BC
Provenance: Ex major London collection collected by S.M. 1970-2010.
Condition: Very fine condition. Even the delicate protruding details are intact. Patination to the surface. Fixtures on the reverse are now missing.

In stock

In the middle of the second millennium BC, the state of Elam, achieved much progress in political and military power, to form a unique artistic style that is distinctively their own. Inshushinak was an important Elamite deity who held close ties with royalty and kinship, which is evidenced by the number of royal names that contain ‘Inshushinak’ as an epithet. Inshushinak is a Sumerian name meaning “Lord of Susa,” which identifies him as a principal deity of that city. His first appearance is in a Mesopotamian god list from Abu Salabikh, dated to c. 2500 BC. Originally the city god of Susa, he soon became the national god of the Elamite state, the principal divine protector of the Elamite kingdom.

Visual representations of the god usually depict him wearing kaunakes robe and a headdress with rows of horns worn by the major divinities.

Weight 94.2 g
Dimensions L 2.9 x W 2.9 x H 8 cm



Reference: For similar item: The Louvre, France, item SB 2827; AS 8619

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