Furniture element: bull-man with Hathor-style curls

Old Assyrian Trading Colony

Not on view

This figure belongs to a group of carved ivories, mostly furniture elements, probably found at the site of a palace at Acemhöyük in central Anatolia. Most of the ivories depict imagery borrowed and transformed from Egyptian sources, but this piece takes the form of a bull-man, a typically Near Eastern supernatural creature combining a human head and frontal nude torso with the lower quarters of a bull shown in three-quarter view (note the tail visible at left along the curve of the flanks). The bull-man’s face resembles others from Acemhöyük, with its face-framing locks ending in curls, large nose, and wide eyes hollowed to receive inlays, now missing. He wears a belt and bracelets on both arms. The red color of the ivory indicates that iron oxides are present on the surface. Since the broken areas of the piece are also stained, it was probably not intentionally colored but picked up this stain as a result of contact with the soil in which it was buried. There are no traces of gilding. A hole at the top of the head allowed for attachment to another element.

Furniture element: bull-man with Hathor-style curls, Ivory (hippopotamus), Old Assyrian Trading Colony

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