Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaque: Pazuzu

Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaque: Pazuzu

An ancient Old Babylonian terracotta plaque depicting the face of the demon Pazuzu, with gnarled features and gritting teeth.

Old Babylonian Period.
Ca. 1900-1650 BC.
Height: 3 3/4 in. (9.4 cm).

Pazuzu was the chief demon of the ancient Mesopotamian cosmology. He was depicted with a gnarled dog-like face, human body, dragon fly wings, and talon feet. Pazuzu was manifested in the southwest wind, known for bringing drought and famine during the dry season, and locusts during rainy season. Amulets of Pazuzu were thought to deter other lesser demons, therefore protecting the wearer from harm.

cf.: H. Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, (Baltimore, 1956), pl. 58a.

Formerly in the Dr. J. Bermann collection, New York, since the 1980s.

Inv#: 6632


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