Elamite Terracotta Plaque of a Fertility Goddess

£ 1,195.00

A finely modelled ancient Elamite terracotta plaque of a fertility goddess. The goddess is characteristically portrayed facing frontally, standing in a solemn pose and gazing forward. Her face presents delicate features; with wide, almond-shaped eyes, a sensual mouth and straight nose. She is presented with her hands raised to her chest, her hands clasping her breasts; a style of pose typical of such figurines. She wears an elaborate headdress that has a protruding globular ornament embraced by horizontal modelling, that imitates the supposed fabric of her turban. She is richly jewelled, an exaggerated necklace with a globular pendent naturally rests on her chest. Her fleshy body is conveyed by her slender waist and distended, plump thighs, one of the most representative features of Elamite nude fertility goddess plaques. The back of the plaque is undecorated and plain. Small hole to the reverse made from TL testing.


Date: Circa 2000-1100 BC
Provenance: Acquired before the early 1970s. Ex London, UK, gallery, once belonged to the private collection of a London gentleman.
Condition: Very good condition, with minor chippings around the edge. This object has been thermoluminescence tested, with a unique TL number of N122f92.
Product Code: NES-120
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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. Terracotta plaques and figurines, depicting nude fertility goddesses, were invented during the periods of the Isin-Larsa and Babylonian Dynasties. Old Babylonian terracotta plaques of fertility goddesses had a great aesthetic impact on the peripheral regions. Elamite parallels, depicting nude fertility goddesses, might have owed their existences to the Old Babylonian inspirations of the goddess Inanna. Different from the traditional Mesopotamian examples, Elamite images are characterised by detailed depictions of jewels and the exaggerated sensual female body outline. Inanna, also known as Ishtar in ancient Akkadian, was the most important female deity in Mesopotamia throughout the second millennium BC. She was identified with the planet Venus and with the sunrise, in addition to being recognised as the goddess of both sexual love and warfare within the ancient Near Eastern religious realm.

Dimensions W 6.6 x H 17 cm



Near East (Western Asiatic)

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