MT1415

A terracotta plaque of the Sumerian demon Humbaba, ca. 2nd millennium BC

A fine clay mask of the demon Humbaba with a protruding nose and brow ridge, with stylized coils on the forehead, cheeks, and chin, a grimacing mouth, and staring eyes. Two holes on either side of the eyes for attachment.

In Ancient Mesopotamian religion, Humbaba, and surnamed the Terrible, was a monstrous giant of immemorial age raised by Utu, the Sun. Humbaba was the guardian of the Cedar Forest, where the gods lived, by the will of the god Enlil, who "assigned [Humbaba] as a terror to human beings. Gilgamesh defeated this great enemy."  Here, the demon is portrayed in terracotta with the face of a lion "scribed in a single coiling line like that of the coiled entrails of men and beasts, from which omens might be read".

Dimensions: Height: 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm), Width: 3 7/8 inches (9.8 cm)

Condition: Complete and in very condition overall. Presented on a custom mount.

Provenance:   S. Bono private collection, IL acquired from the English trade in early 2000.

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