Ancient Near East, northern Arabia / southern Levant, Nabataean people, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A cast-bronze anthropomorphic figure standing upon a pair of delineated stalky legs and broad feet. The stylized depiction boasts a slender torso, raised arms bent at the elbow, a thick neck, and a minimalist head. Petite circular eyes, a prominent nose, and full lips comprise the simple visage, with a cascading coiffure draped down the back of the figure's neck. Statuettes like this were typically meant as votive offerings at ancient temples, symbolically garnering the favor of deities which were both revered and feared. Shrouded in layers of dark brown and green patina, this is an enigmatic example from the ancient Near East. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 2" W x 4.875" H (5.1 cm x 12.4 cm); 5.375" H (13.7 cm) on included custom stand.
The Nabataean kingdom controlled a string of oases that linked trade between southern Arabia (where many forms of incense required for religious worship were created) and the Greco-Roman world, and flourished throughout most of the 1st century CE. The Nabataean sphere of influence extended far into the Arabian Peninsula towards Yemen along the Red Sea. Its capital of Ragmu (present-day Petra) was one of the largest and most highly-frequented cosmopolitan marketplaces in the Near East, though it was only one in a string of Nabataean settlements strung out in an area with very limited resources.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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