Plaque with a nude female between two bearded males wearing kilts


Not on view

This openwork bronze stands out for its particularly detailed workmanship. The piece includes three symmetrically arranged figures – a nude female centrally placed and flanked by two bearded males wearing fringed kilts. The males stand, legs askew, upon a lower bracket, and all three figures support an upper bracket with raised arms. The upper bracket includes two front-facing lions (known elsewhere as symbols of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar). Musculature, facial features, locks of hair, and jewelry are all carefully depicted; both the fronts and the backs of the figures are modeled. Here, unusually, both male figures have curly hair and beards.

The exact function of early second millennium B.C. openwork bronzes is not known. Cords, straps, or fabric were likely fed through slots in the plaque, and the rollers may have been used as horse trappings, belt buckles, furniture elements, and implements used in the production of textiles.

Plaque with a nude female between two bearded males wearing kilts, Bronze, Babylonian

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