Winged hero brandishing sword and grasping ostrich

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between 1200 B.C. and 1000 B.C.
grey marble
31 x 14 mm
Morgan Seal 606
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"The interpretation of the griffin as an equivalent of the angel of death may furnish an explanation for the scene of 606, which shows a winged hero pursuing ostriches, usually regarded as harmless animals. Nevertheless the Assyrian may have seen an earthly counterpart to the supernatural griffin in this bird, because of its size and because it lives in the desert, which was believed to be an abode of the dead."--Porada, CANES, p. 70


Winged hero brandishing sword and grasping ostrich in flight; beside latter, smaller ostrich -- In field, inscription (erased).

Southern Mesopotamia.