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Ancient Near Eastern Terracottas (ANET)

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Terracotta: AN1976.74

Object: Woman's head

Period: Bronze Age: Akkadian to Old Babylonian Period

Dimensions: H: 12.7cm. W: 11.5cm. (at brow).

Region: Sumer

Description: handmodelled with incised detail; buff fabric; extensive traces of red paint on the ears and face; traces of black paint intermittently on the hair; the left side of the head and much of the hair on the back of the head are broken away; broken off body immediately below the chin. The hair, lies flat on the crown of the head secured midway by an encircling band marked by two incised lines. It does not appear to be of hair. On the top of the head two encircling plaits, marked by incised chevrons, separate bands of short incised vertical lines. Below the head band, at the back and sides, the hair falls down in a single swathe marked by criss-cross lines. The hair is drawn back from the face at the front by a prominent rolled curl, which divides at a central parting, where each side sweeps up to the head band in a V-shaped curl. On both sides the ears, painted red, protrude through the hair. Here, as elsewhere, the paint appears to have been applied direct to the surface of the clay. There are no signs of plaster.
The features of the face have been boldy modelled with a sharp instrument whose point is occasionally used as at the nostrils and ends of the lips. The pronounced eyebrow ridges run down into a well modelled pointed nose. The large oval-shaped eyes and eye-balls, where no trace of the original paint is evident to the naked eye, and the slightly smiling mouth, are sharply cut. A fault in the clay suggests a dimpled chin. Where a tiny part of the top of the neck survives, there are traces of flesh wrinkles.

Reference: ANET-23Bronze1MesII-Catalogue-2.