An extremely fine Sumerian figurine, finely carved in alabaster and modelled in the shape of a recumbent ram, of which the entire body is contained within a smooth, single contour. The ram is portrayed with its legs tucked under the body, and with the head twisted backward. Three rounded black hardstone inlays embellish its horn, face and haunch. To the reverse two rounded black stone inlays at each end. The piece can be referred to the Uruk /Jemdet Nasr cultural assemblage, dated between 3500 and 2900 BC.
Date: Circa 4th Millennium BC Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact.
The Sumerians were the first civilisation to settle in the lands of Southern Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This area later became Babylonia and is now known as southern Iraq, stretching from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf. Statuettes and amulets fashioned in the shape of wild and domestic animals, are among the most representative objects that have been excavated from the Uruk civilisation onwards. Zoomorphic amulets, such as this extremely fine example, would have been worn and carried as a protection against the Evil Eye and bad fortune.