Contest frieze with demon and lions

between 2700 B.C. and 2500 B.C.
35.5 x 25 mm
Morgan Seal 58
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"The same desire for balanced composition determined the postures of the individual animals and humans in the frieze. The forms of the reversed animals in 53-55, 57, 58,... balance the outlines of the uprights heroes and rampant animals... Though the composite monsters of 57-59 may be mythological, it is possible that the merging of human and animal forms derived from a desire of the artist to maintian the essential symmetry and compactness of the composition as a whole... Deep parallel lines marking animal bodies and indicating fur or hair, as in 51, 54, 58, are characteristic of this period." Porada, CANES, p. 9-10


Center: demon, whose legs are two goats, reversing two lions, each of latter attacking reversed animal --Scorpion (?) in field.

Southern Mesopotamia.