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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Archive : Pottery Vessel in the Shape of a Humpbacked Bull
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Pottery Vessel in the Shape of a Humpbacked Bull - LO.1035
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1400 BC to 1000 BC
Dimensions: 8.25" (21.0cm) high x 13.5" (34.3cm) wide
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Earthenware

Additional Information: Sold

Location: Great Britain
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Exquisite example of pottery vessel shaped as a humpbacked bull, with mouth open to serve as spout, long upturned horns and sturdy conical legs. The overall surface punctuated by small incised strokes to simulate the pelt of the animal.

Pottery such as this beautiful bull vessel, related to the grey-ware of north-western and central Iran and commonly labeled 'Amlash', have been found at the important site of Marlik in Gilan, between the Elburz mountains and the Caspian Sea, an area covered by thick vegetation and quite humid in the summer. The tombs at the site were constructed of stone and some contained multiple burials and a wide range of inventories. Most extraordinary are the many figurines in red and grey pottery, usually hollow, of both humans and animals, mostly humpbacked bulls like ours, with the head turned into a pouring spout. These figures feature a surprisingly elegant silhouette and simplicity, which seem to have emerged suddenly as a consequence of an Indo-Iranian migration into the region during the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. On the whole, the cemetery at Marlik has been dated to the Iron age period (1400-1000 BC) and to this date our specimen should also be attributed.

For a comparable example in the British Museum see, J. Curtis, Ancient Persia, BM, 2000: p.21, pl.18. - (LO.1035)


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