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Syrian-Mesopotamian terracotta throne model dedicated to the god Sin, 3000 B.C.

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Terracotta
Dimensions:  9,7 x 5,5 cm
Provenance:  Belgian private collection Mr.Y.P. before 1981 / Archaeological Gallery, France, 2015
Documents:  Attached thermoluminescence test (TL)
Exhibited:  Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020)


On request
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Model of a finely embossed throne. Above the seat, three steps lead up to a closed door decorated with bands and stars. It is surrounded by two bearded heroes, their hair in four curls, holding long rods ending in side rings. Above the door are two bulls under three crescent moons and a star. The three steps leading up to the door seem to indicate that this is the entrance to a temple, but identifying the god to whom it is dedicated is complex. The two heroes holding the posts (often called jambs) are found on glyptics from the late 3rd millennium BC, but they are not clearly associated with a god. The three crescent moons and the bulls are associated with the lunar god Sin: this throne model would therefore be dedicated to him.

In the 2nd millennium BC, the production of engraved plaques with a variety of motifs (scenes from everyday life, divinities, nude women) was widespread. They were found in tombs, homes and temples alike, and little is known about their use.

There are two examples of similar models although in these cases their state of preservation is much worse as large pieces are missing in the British Museum. According to the British Museum’s studies, they belong to Diqdiqqah, a district of the city of Ur where numerous deposits were found with votive terracotta sculptures, amulets and terracotta recreations of different types of furniture, including thrones and beds.

In this quarter, these hand-made models were made in workshops with reliefs depicting different gods, anthropomorphic men with the appearance of bulls, and many of them depict the crescent moon. It seems that their function was votive, to be taken to temples, but the ones found here were made in situ at the site and belong to the workshops found in the area.

It is possible that this type of thrones were related to the cult of the moon god sin and that is why many of them depict lunar images and bulls.


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