Sabaean Alabaster Ibex

Sabaean Alabaster Ibex

An ancient Sabaean alabaster ibex statuette. The animal is recumbent with a squat stylized body, predominant curved horns, and protruding eyes.

South Arabia.
Ca. 3rd - 1st century BC.
Height: 5 3/4 in. (14.5 cm).

The ibex was an important subject in ancient Yemeni art. The animal, much more common in antiquity, was associated with Ta'lab Ri m, the god of rain and fertility. The temple of Huqqa, north of Saana, was dedicated to this god and votive images of Ibexes may have been placed there.

Sheba or Saba, an ancient culture mentioned in the Old Testament and the Quran, most memorably as the home of the "Queen of Sheba," was located in Southern Arabia.

cf.: R. L. Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis: Objects from the second Campaign (1951) in the Timna? Cemetery, (Baltimore, 1965) p. 30.

Formerly in a New York private collection.

Inv#: 6691


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