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Male Figure Before a Goddess Drawing Aside Her Mantle
Cylinder seal and impression
Syria (ca. 1720–1650 B.C.)
Hematite
23 x 11 mm
Seal no. 945
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

For the ancient Near East, the act of procreation symbolized creation itself. The female figure in this scene reveals only her pubic area as if to emphasize this idea of procreation rather than mere carnality. The hand-to-mouth gesture of the male figure, as well as his downward-stretched arm, document his astonishment at the symbolic truth being revealed to him. The empty space between the figures emphasizes their gestures. The scene is framed by natural and mythical animals.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.