Sumerian Head Amulet of a Goddess

Culture: Sumerian
Period: 2300-2100 B.C.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 2.4 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 6396
Provenance: The Bactria Corp., New York, 1960 to 1970s. Thence Merrin Gallery, New York. Last in a New York private collection.
Condition: Intact
Description: Marble head amulet of a goddess worked out in high quality. The round head with pronounced cheekbones, a large, prominent nose and a mouth shaped into a smile. The large eyes are pierced deeply into the stone and once held lapis lazuli inlays. The goddess has her hair parted in the middle, sideways long curls cascade over her temples. Behind them protruding bull ears which are typical for Sumerian head amulets. The head is vertically pierced for suspension. Sumerian head amulets are mainly known for male depictions and should personify heroes from the Gilgamesh epic such as Enkidu. Female portrayals like the present one are extremely rare. Possibly this amulet is a representation of Ningal, the goddess of reeds, wife of the moon god Nanna. See the marble head of Ningal from Ur, today in the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, USA, with the object number B16228. Mounted.