Eye Stone Amulet with a Dedication Inscription of King Kurigalzu I in Sumerian
Mesopotamia, Kassite period, reign of Kurigalzu I
(ca. early 14th century B.C.)
Inscribed: To Enlil, his lord, Kurigalzu presented (this stone)
3.36 cm diameter
MLC no. 2625
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Taking advantage of the stone's natural banding,agates were carved to resemble an eye. The votive inscriptions
indicate the placement of the object on an altar or in a temple
as a gift to a deity. The stones were thought to have some
inherent power that would help protect the life of the person
named in the inscription. These amulets probably adorned the
cult statue of the god inscribed and were most likely worn in
precious gold settings.
Kurigalzu, whose name means "shepherd of the Kassites,"
was an energetic monarch in both international and domestic
areas. He maintained close diplomatic and economic ties
with Egypt and is said to have received much gold from the
Egyptian court. He built a royal residential city and named it
after himself. He also built at older cult centers, such as Nippur,
where this amulet probably came from, perhaps even from
the Enlil Temple restored by Ur-Namma.
The agate was found probably at Babylon, where Marduk was the patron god of the city.
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