Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaque of Goddess Ishtar

£ 650.00

A finely modelled Old Babylonian terracotta plaque, depicting a robed and jewelled goddess, probably Ishtar. Despite being executed with less recourse to naturalistic depictions, the goddess Ishtar’s iconic features, as seen on contemporary parallels, are precisely captured and rendered through the modelled surface. The goddess is depicted wearing a long garment and an enigmatic horned-crown of Mesopotamian deities. Her abstractly portrayed face is expressed by a small oval shape, flanked by two round incisions representing her iconic loop earrings, one of the attributes of the goddess. The reverse is unworked.

Date: Circa 2000- 1600 BC
Condition: Fine condition, some earthly encrustations on the surface.
Product Code: NES-80
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Small terracotta plaques of this class are conventionally designated as ‘goddess in a structure’. Numerous parallels, with highly standardised iconographies of a richly jewelled goddess, have been extensively excavated from temples of the early Old Babylonian Dynasty, indicating their close association with religious purposes. Such plaques might have been used as votive offerings. The deity might be associated with the goddess Ishtar, who is also known as Inanna in the previous Sumerian culture. Ishtar was one of the most important female deities in Mesopotamia through the second millennium BC. She has been worshipped as the goddess of warfare, justice, love and fertility. Images and religious implications of Ishtar can be found across the ancient Mediterranean worlds, she is also identified with Phoenician Astarte and Greek Aphrodite.

To discover more about the Old Babylonian culture, please visit our relevant post: Civilisations of the Ancient Near East.

Dimensions W 6.2 x H 9.8 cm
Region

Near East (Western Asiatic)

Pottery

Terracotta

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