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Bearded Mesopotamian Worshipper Figure
This statue is a worshipper, with hands clasped in a gesture of prayer and wide eyes representing attentiveness to the gods. Worshipper figures represent the elite of early Mesopotamia.
Some scholars in the early twentieth century thought that the differences in clothing and hairstyle among worshipper figures represented ethnic difference. We now think that they represent different roles within early Mesopotamian cities.
This bearded figure may have been a member of the king’s family, as kings and heroes were commonly represented with beards.
Name: Bearded Mesopotamian Worshipper Figure
Material: Gypsum inlaid with shell and black limestone
Height: 55 cm (1 ft 10 in)
Date: 2900-2600 BCE, Early Dynastic period
Place of Origin: Tell Asmar, Iraq
Location: Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago, Illinois
Source and Registration#: Oriental Institute Museum A12331
Former Chief Curator, Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago