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Near Eastern Art


NEB016
Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.
Late second – early first Mill. BC.
H. 11.5 cm (4 ½ in.)
Perfect condition. Fine green patina.
Ex. Israeli collection, Jerusalem, prior to year 2000
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The anthropomorphic balsamarium (-cosmetic flask) in the form of a naked woman. She is standing frontal, her right hand holding her right breast, her left hand on her waist and her straight joint legs on a flat square base. She wears a torque, belt around the waist and bracelets and anklets on her hands and legs. Her elongated head with flat top with the balsamarium opening, with large oval eyes, straight nose, straight mouth with full lips and large ears. The hair arranged in a long plait at the back. The body with thick neck, narrow hips, wide waist and the legs tapering down. The sex elements are emphasized, the breast in the form of projecting small balls, the sex part is incised in triangle shape and the buttocks are rounded and large.
The figure is modeled with attention to details, as the facial parts and the fingers and toes. The violin shape body and the posture are expressing the feminine characteristics of sex and fertility, typical to figures of fertility goddesses.

For a fertility goddess holding her breasts, cf. Keel, O., 2008, p. 38, fig. 25.
For the position of the hands, cf. Ghirshman, R.,1964, p.246, fig. 297.


Keel, O., Gott weiblich: Eine verborgene Seite des biblischen Gottes, Gutersloher Verlagshaus, Freiburg, 2008.
Ghirshman, R., Persia: from the Origins to Alexander the Great, London, Thames and Hudson 1964.

 

 


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