Two figures attacking bearded hero with curls

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between 1000 B.C. and 700 B.C.
black serpentine
35.5 x 15.5 mm
Morgan Seal 686
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"Only two indubitably mythological motifs are found on Neo-Assyrian cylinders: one is that of an attack upon a nude barded hero (686)... The first theme is probably derived from representations of the slaying of the giant Humbaba by the heroes Gilgamesh and Enkidu, as portrayed on an Old Babylonian plaque, on which Humbaba is rendered as a monster. In the melting pot of Mitannian glyptic, however, the rendering of this monster became confused with that of the nude bearded hero. This modification seems to have been taken over by the Assyrians in such seals as 686, on which the victim is clad in a crosshatched garment, or Berlin 608, on which he appears nude, as in older representations."--Porada, CANES, p. 82


Two figures attacking bearded hero with curls -- Female figure with upraised arms -- Terminal: plant.

Southern Mesopotamia.