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    SYRO-HITTITE. Middle Bronze Age, circa 2000-1500 BCE. Terracotta votive (?) ram. This intriguing figure is 3.60 (9 cm) inches long, of red clay with lighter clay slip (mostly worn away) and some decoration picked out in applied black. Intriguingly the ram has a large snake coiled around its body, the body cross-hatched to represent scales, its blackened head along one flank. One leg partially broken and shorter than the rest, substantial surface erosion, otherwise intact. Cf. Moorey, P.R.S. Ancient Near Eastern Terracottas (Ashmolean Museum, 2005).

    From The Living Torah Museum Collection; ex Michael Kaufman Collection, acquired by donation.

    Small terracotta figures representing both domestic and wild animals, as well as human forms, have been unearthed in great numbers along the western Fertile Crescent. They may have been intended as toys, or as votive objects to be placed in shrines, or both. Serpent and dragon deities featured strongly in the mythology of the Hittites, a major power in ancient Anatolia, while the ram was a popular sacrificial animal across many cultures, including the early Judean. Both animals feature in Genesis, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and the ram as substitute sacrifice for Abraham's son Isaac.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,055

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