Seated Ruler

Seated Ruler

2000-1700 BC

Limestone with shell inclusions

Overall: 66.7 x 38.2 x 54.6 cm (26 1/4 x 15 1/16 x 21 1/2 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1969.37

Fun Fact

The remains of a beard can be seen at the neckline.

Description

Four thousand years ago northern Syria was a crossroads of peoples and cultures, meeting through trade and military conflict. This statue of a portly man sitting on a low throne combines Assyrian and Amorite stylistic influences. It was possibly found at Ebla, where some scholars believe the biblical Abraham visited as he traveled from Chaldea to Canaan around 2000 bc. Such a large carved stone image suggests a local ruler or high official. The head was removed, probably in an act of ritual defilement, since decapitation was believed to cancel the object’s supernatural presence.

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