Urartu was a powerful kingdom that rivaled the Assyrian Empire in the first millennium B.C. It extended from northeastern Turkey into northwestern Iran. Its settlements were palace-fortresses that protected agricultural production and supported many crafts, especially an extensive metalworking industry. In the late seventh century B.C., Urartian centers were destroyed by an enemy whose identity remains unknown.
This object, with the lower part of a figure standing along the flanks of a bull, was most likely part of a throne. From better-preserved examples, we know that the figure wore the horned crown of a deity. The whole would have been gilded. A throne and footstool supported by four deities and their animal companions would have been a potent symbol of the Urartian king's power.
Acquired by the Museum in 1950, purchased from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., New York.
“Archaeology: Exploring the Past,” The Junior Museum of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 22, 1962–June 30, 1966.
“Urartu: A Metalworking Center in the First Millennium B.C.E.,” The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May 28–October 7, 1991.
Rice, Tamara T. 1965. Ancient Arts of Central Asia. New York: Thames & Hudson, pp. 59-61.
Crawford, Vaughn Emerson, Prudence Oliver Harper, Oscar White Muscarella, and Beatrice Bodenstein. 1966. Ancient Near Eastern Art: Guide to the Collections. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 26, fig. 38.
Azarpay, Guitty. 1967. Urartian Art and Artifacts: A Chronological Study. Berkeley: University of California Press, pl. 52.
Piotrovsky, Boris. 1975. “From the Lands of the Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the USSR, 3000 B.C. - 100 B.C.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32 (5), p. 16.
Hibbard, Howard. 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st U.S. edition. New York: Harper and Row, p. 56, fig. 109.
Muscarella, Oscar W. 1988. Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 429, no. 577.
Merhav, Rivka, ed. 1991. Urartu: a Metalworking Center in the First Millennium B.C.E. exh.cat. Jerusalem: Israel Museum, p. 278, no. 3.
Curtis, John. 1996. “Urartian Furniture” In The Furniture of Western Asia: Ancient and Traditional. Mainz, Germany: Philipp von Zabern, p. 186, fig. 8.
Bilgi, Önder. 2012. Anadolu'da Insan Görüntüleri: Klasik Çağ Öncesi. Istanbul: Aygaz, pp. 524-6, no. 1161.