A wide range of stone material was employed as the main material to express glyptic images within Mesopotamian cultural practices. They replaced the dominate clay used in the preceding cultures, having become the popular media to convey religious messages and to play a significant role in cult occasions. Finely executed stone ritual vessels, as in many ancient Mediterranean cultures and societies, were used as either prestigious objects displaying wealth, or employed as ritual items that associated with cult activities. Within traditional Mesopotamian culture, stone vessels, engraved with zoomorphic images, ritual scene and mythological representations, seems to have been first appeared in the Uruk period (circa 3500-3000BC).
Early Dynastic Stone Votive Cup
A finely sculpted Early Dynastic Near Eastern votive cup made from a darl, black hard stone, possibly calcite. It features a smooth and elegant profile, which is shaped by its oval container and a sharp, carinated shoulder. Its sloping walls arise from a flat base and then expand into a wide opening with a flattened lip. This stone vase presents an iconic form which was distinctively known to the Early Dynastic period. This delicate stone cup features the attractive veined pattern of the original stone.
Condition: Very fine condition, with minor chips to the rim of the lip.