Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu)
Ivory; H. 4.88 in. (12.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1962 (62.269.3)
During the ninth to seventh centuries B.C., vast quantities of luxury goods, often embellished with carved ivory in local, Syrian, and Phoenician styles, accumulated in Assyrian palaces, much of it as booty or tribute. This plaque, once part of a piece of furniture, is carved in high relief in a typical Phoenician style with Egyptian themes and motifs. Two pharaoh-like figures, standing on either side of a branching tree, wear a version of the double crown of Egypt with the rearing cobra, or uraeus, emblem in front. They also wear a beard, necklace, and pleated short skirt belted at the waist with a central panel decorated with a chevron pattern and uraeus on either side. An ankle-length pleated apron with patterned border falls from behind the figures. Each man holds a ram-headed scepter in his right hand while the figure at left holds a ewer in his left hand; it is unclear what the other man holds. Framed above the scene is a winged sun disk surmounted by a horizontal panel with ten uraei supporting sun disks.