Terracotta Plaque of Humbaba

£ 750.00

A finely modelled pale terracotta plaque depicting the grotesque face of the demon Humbaba. His iconic facial features are precisely captured, including connected, arched eye brows, almond-shaped eyes and an exaggerated snarling mouth revealing his neatly modelled teeth. The reverse remains plain and unworked.

Date: Circa 2000-1600 BC
Condition: Fine, uneven chipped edge, but image intact.
Product Code: NES-79
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Within traditional Mesopotamian religion, Humbaba was one of the heroes of the Epic of Gilgamesh and believed to be a giant raised by Utu, the Sun god. He was the doorkeeper of the Cedar Forest where the gods lived, and was regarded as a very dangerous and fearsome monster. The iconographies of Humbaba’s mask, or its severed heads, are well attested on terracotta plaques dating to the Old Babylonian period. Different from its contemporary counterparts, which were executed as a votive offering dedicated to the deities by centred institutions, terracotta plaques bearing Humbaba motifs were widely used as an apotropaic object and were hung on the walls to drive away evil spirits.

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

Dimensions W 7.5 x H 9 cm
Region

Near East (Western Asiatic)

Pottery

Terracotta

Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, Accession Number: 55.162.1

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