Ancient Near East, northeastern Syria, Tell Brak, Middle Uruk Period, ca. 4th millennium BCE. A hand-carved alabaster idol of an abstract form defined by a wide trapezoidal body, sloped shoulders, and a slender neck surmounted by an enormous pair of incised diamond-shaped eyes. The body boasts a trio of concentric zigzagging lines that imbue the figure with a regal and personalized presentation. Tell Brak was a major Mesopotamian city in northeastern Syria, located on a trade route between the Tigris River Valley north to Anatolia, the Euphrates, and the Mediterranean Sea. The most famous building excavated at this site was the "Temple of the Eyes," where thousands of figures made of stone with incised eyes have been found. Archaeologists believe that these idols were placed there as offerings, as wide eyes meant religious attentiveness and devotion to the gods in Mesopotamian art. Size: 2.25" W x 3.25" H (5.7 cm x 8.3 cm); 4" H (10.2 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Repair to one eye, with small chips and light adhesive residue along break line. Minor abrasions and nicks to body, neck, and eyes, with light softening to some finer details. Light earthen deposits throughout.