Ancient Near East, Tell Brak, Middle Uruk period, 4th millennium BCE. A pair of dark stone idols with trapezoidal bodies and enormous, drilled, round eyes. Both come with custom stands. Size of largest: 0.95" W x 1.25" H (2.4 cm x 3.2 cm); height on stand: 1.8" (4.6 cm).
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 huge site was the Eye Temple, where thousands of figures made of stone with incised eyes have been excavated. Archaeologists believe that these were placed there as offerings. Wide eyes meant attentiveness to the gods in Mesopotamian art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1988.323.8) has a very similar alabaster example to this one; another type, with "spectacles" made of perforated circles, is held by the Louvre (AO 30002).
Provenance: Ex-private east coast, USA collection acquired in the 1960's
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