Horse figurine


Not on view

This clay figurine, now missing its head, tail and part of its legs, may represent a horse. It was excavated at Tepe Nush-i Jan, an Iron Age hilltop site about 60 km sound of Hamadan in western Iran. Nush-i Jan was occupied in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., and its occupants are generally thought to be the Medes, an Iranian people known from Assyrian, Achaemenid and Biblical sources. Though the textual sources portray them as a powerful empire, archaeological evidence for the Medes has yet to sustain this impression. Rather, they seem to have lived in scattered fortified sites in western and central Iran, without any clear capital. Nush-i Jan, one of the best known of these sites, features two temples, a columned hall, and a fort. The figurine was found in the columned hall.

Figurines representing animals, people, gods and even household objects are a common feature of all periods of the Ancient Near East. They could serve multiple, overlapping purposes, as religious objects, charms, toys, collectibles or decorations, among others.

Horse figurine, Ceramic, Iran

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