Statuette of a female

Period: Iron Age II

Date: ca. early 1st millennium B.C.

Geography: Northwestern Iran, Caspian region

Culture: Iran

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: H. 31.3 cm

Classification: Ceramics-Sculpture

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1964

Accession Number: 64.130

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 404
Some of the most elaborate representations of females in the art of the ancient Near East are images of divine and cult figures whose association with certain aspects of life made them essential to the welfare of humanity. Fertility, procreation, and the growth of crops and livestock were among the basic concepts identified with female divinities. Representations of nude females in clay, stone, and metal are the simplest and most obvious expression of these concepts, and such figures appear throughout antiquity in many regions.


This striking example in clay from the South Caspian region of northwestern Iran is hollow and probably served as a cult vessel as well as a sacred image.

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Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies
Acquired by the Museum in 1964, purchased from Nuri Farhadi and Habib Anavian, New York.

“Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York,” Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux, France, May 15–September 1, 1981.

“5000 Years of Art from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” San Diego Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois, The Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, Midland Center for the Arts, Midland, Michigan, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, 1981–1982.

Crawford, Vaughn E. 1964. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23 (2), Ninety-Fourth Annual Report of The Trustees for The Fiscal Year 1963-1964 (Oct., 1964), p. 56.

Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. 1981. Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso, exh. cat., no. 18, p. 45.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1981. 5000 Years of Art from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 3.

Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, p. 24, fig. 25.