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The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender

Before Islam:  Overview

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Bearded Mesopotamian Worshipper Figure

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.

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