The Ashmolean

Iraq: Navel of the World

City Life [8]

Until very recently childbirth was one of the most dangerous events in any woman's life. The Babylonians believed that the demoness Lamashtu was responsible for still births and cot-deaths. A woman would have worn this quartzite stone amulet (now broken) during pregnancy and labour so that the fierce demons on it, and the incantation on the back, would scare Lamashtu away.

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