Amlaš, a small village in the Gīlān province of northern Iran, has given its name to an assortment of archaeological artefacts recovered from the valleys of the nearby Alborz range. These artefacts range in date from the late second millennium BC through the Partho-Sasanian period, with most dated to the 9th and 8th centuries BC. A main characteristic of Amlash pottery is its intricate sculptural detail and technical manufacture, deeply influenced by Mesopotamian and Syrian civilisations. Zoomorphic drinking or ritual vessels are abundant in Amlash pottery and usually features depictions of common animals to that region. Such vessels have been recovered across Mesopotamia and Anatolia, and they were known as BIBRÛ, from the word for “bird” in Akkadian, a Semitic language spoken in ancient Babylonia and Assyria. BIBRÛ vessels featured a prominent spout on the animal’s back and a secondary tubular opening on the animal’s mouth, and appeared for the first time in Uruk Mesopotamia. Vessels of this type might have been produced as ceremonial drinking vessels, dedicated to specific deities. They might have also served as drinking vessels for the social elite and royal family members.
Western Asiatic Bull Vessel
A Western Asiatic Amlash terracotta bull strainer vessel. The bull has short horns with small ears underneath and a mouth that forms a funnel, with incised eyes and an incised necklace around its neck. The conical body has a hump at the base of the neck and a trumpet-shaped spout at the rear of the top of the body. The spout is pierced with six holes for straining liquid. Vessels of this type were probably used for ceremonial function and often placed in graves.
Provenance: Ex. London auction house, before: property of an English gentleman; ex. Pars Antiques, 1990’s.
Condition: Very fine, intact, earthy encrustations over the whole, with minor chipping to the mouth funnel and ears, a chip to the trumpet-shaped spout and considerable chipping to the front right and back left feet.
|Dimensions||L 27 x H 21.2 cm|
Near East (Western Asiatic)