Old Babylonian Torso of Goddess Ereshkigal

Old Babylonian Torso of Goddess Ereshkigal

An ancient Old Babylonian large terracotta high-relief plaque fragment depicting the lower torso and upper legs of a nude female deity, likely the underworld goddess, Ereshkigal. The vestiges of her feathered wings are evident at her hips.

Old Babylonian Period.
Ca. 1850-1750 BC.
Height: 6 3/4 in. (17.2 cm).
Accompanied by two thermoluminescence tests by CIRAM laboratory in Paris and Ralf Kotalla laboratory in Germany confirming its antiquity.

This fragment is nearly identical to the complete 'Queen of the Night Relief,' now in the British Museum. There the winged female deity has clawed talon feet which rest upon recumbent lions. She wears a crown and is flanked by two large owls. The goddess has been variously identified as Lilith, Ishtar, or Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal, the goddess of the underworld, is the most likely attribution.

cf.: J. Aruz, ed., Beyond Babylon, (New York, 2009), pp. 22-23, cat. no. 2, fig. 11, (British Museum, inv. no. 2003-7-18,1).

Formerly in the A.L. collection, Munich, acquired in 1956, with a label reading 'Mutanno,' perhaps Al Muthanna, the region of ancient Uruk.

Inv#: 4842


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