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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Mesopotamian Art : Sumerian chlorite "lock-shaped" weight
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Sumerian chlorite "lock-shaped" weight - PF.6179
Origin: Mesopotamia
Circa: 3000 BC to 2000 BC
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Catalogue: Vol.XXXII
Style: Sumerian
Medium: Chlorite


Additional Information: hk. h

Location: Great Britain
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Description
The name chlorite derives from the Greek word chloros, which translates as "green", being that a reference to the mineral's colour. Chlorite is so soft a mineral that one may scratch it by a finger nail and powder generated by such scratching comes out green. It has a soft oily feeling upon touching. Chlorite is a mineral with a low potential for industrial use. It does not have any prominent physical properties that would make it suited for a particular usage nor does it contain any constituents that make it a target of mining. When found, chlorite is usually intimately intermixed with other minerals, thus the cost of separation would be rather high. As a result, chlorite nowadays is not mined nor processed for any specific use. The slightly curved and handled rectangular item has been carved from a single piece. Such objects are assumed to have been weights and are very often described erroneously as "locks" and ironically called in jest "handbag" or "purse. The scenes depicted and the decorative motifs used relate these objects to an iconography corresponding to artefacts excavated in Southeastern and Central Iran, Syria, Mesopotamia and the Island of Tarut in the Gulf. The most plausible hypothesis is that they were attributes of status, carried as an indication that the bearer was a person of high importance and office. - (PF.6179)

 

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