Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Eye idol

Period:
Middle Uruk
Date:
ca. 3700–3500 B.C.
Geography:
Syria, Tell Brak
Medium:
Gypsum alabaster
Dimensions:
1 3/8 x 1 in. (3.6 x 2.5 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Colt Archaeological Institute Inc. Gift, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.323.8
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 402
This type of figurine known as an eye idol, made of stone and having incised eyes, has been excavated at Tell Brak, where thousands were found in a building now called the Eye Temple. They were probably dedicated there as offerings. Many are incised with multiple sets of eyes, others with jewelry, and still others with representations of "children"—smaller eyes and body carved on the body of the larger idol. Wide eyes demonstrate attentiveness to the gods in much of Mesopotamian art.
1937-38, excavated by Sir Max Mallowan on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq and the British Museum; ceded to the British School of Archaeology in Iraq in the division of finds; acquired by the Museum in 1988, as a result of its financial contribution to the British excavation at Tell Brak in 1980s.
Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 119 (Jul. 1,1988 - Jun. 30, 1989), p. 16.

Rakic, Yelena ed. 2010. Discovering the Art of the Ancient Near East: Archaeological Excavations Supported by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–2010. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (1), Summer 2010, p. 43.
Related Objects

Eye idol

Date: ca. 3700–3500 B.C. Medium: Gypsum alabaster Accession: 51.59.11 On view in:Gallery 402

Eye idol

Date: ca. 3700–3500 B.C. Medium: Gypsum alabaster Accession: 51.59.4 On view in:Gallery 402

Eye idol

Date: ca. 3700–3500 B.C. Medium: Gypsum alabaster Accession: 51.59.5 On view in:Gallery 402

Eye idol

Date: ca. 3700–3500 B.C. Medium: Gypsum alabaster Accession: 51.59.8 On view in:Gallery 402

Eye idol

Date: ca. 3700–3500 B.C. Medium: Gypsum alabaster Accession: 51.59.6 On view in:Gallery 402