007 Female Head - SUMER

007 Female Head - SUMER

H: 7.75 cm
Provenance: no indication; probably Diyala Valley (Khafaje?)
Early Dynastic II-III. c. 2700-2500 B.C.

Condition: broken at the neck, at the back along the hairline. A scrape running through tip of nose, upper lip and across cheeks. Wear to hair on left side of diadem and back of hairdo. Traces of black colour over hair.

Missing: inlay of left eye (shell on bitumen) and inlays for eyebrows.

This head was part of a statuette of a worshipper. Exact comparisons are not to be found for artists of the period never reproduced exactly the same model. However, there were distinct styles and it is unquestionable that this head belongs to the types found at Khafaje.

A tress of hair encircles her head and ends in a flattened bun forming a pointed pyramid at the back, a similar headdress to that of a female statue from the Sin Temple IX at Khafaje [1]. There are affinities with other heads from the same temple [2]. A comparable type of head is in the Pennsylvania University Museum [3] which originally had eyes in shell fixed on bitumen.

1 Chicago, Oriental Institute Museum A 12412: Frankfort, H.: Sculpture of the Third Millennium B.C. from Tell Asmar and Khafajah, OIP 44 (Chicago, 1939), no. 104, pp. 68-69 pl. 74.

2 Chicago, Oriental Institute Museum A 12337: Frankfort, H.: op. cit., no. 136, pp. 70-71 pl. 87.

3 38.10.51: labelled as alabaster, though probably of limestone or gypsum.