c. 700–600 BC
Overall: 16.6 cm (6 9/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1942.204
Bulls were symbols of power and fertility in many ancient cultures. This bronze bull's head was made in the kingdom of Urartu, which was located in what is Iran today, and was likely attached to the rim of a giant cauldron or cooking pot.
The kingdom of Urartu was contemporary with the Assyrian civilization. The Urartians produced elaborate bronze objects and probably passed on many of their metalwork traditions to the Achaemenian Persians. This bull head was probably one of four placed at cardinal points around the rim of a huge Urartian bronze cauldron.
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