Imagery of fish is common in the ancient art of many cultures, particularly where sea faring or fishing is of high cultural prominence. Commonly used as decorative motifs such as in amulets or small works, images of fish can also hold more symbolic meaning. In ancient Mesopotamia, fish offerings were made to gods, particularly those associated with water. As has been of great interest to esotericists, the Mesopotamian tradition describes the Apkallu, seven wise sages that are half man half fish that arrived to teach humanity the knowledge of civilisation. Such figures are thought to be represented by figures depicted in relief carvings that wear eccentric headpieces of a fish head where the body of the fish forms a sort of cape. As well as this, similar depictions show a sort of “merman” thought to possibly depict the fertility god Dagon. Fish were also variously associated with priestcraft as is the case in Christian symbolism.

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