The Queen of the Night

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This large Old Babylonian plaque, found in southern Iraq, was made between 1800 and 1750 BC. It is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modelled in high relief, and probably stood in a shrine. The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war; or Ishtar's sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld; or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith. This book explores the symbolism and history behind this beautiful relief. The figure wears the horned head-dress characteristic of a Mesopotamian deity and holds a rod and ring of justice, symbols of her divinity. Her long multi-coloured wings hang downwards, indicating that she is a goddess of the Underworld. Her legs end in the talons of a bird of prey, similar to those of the two owis that flank her. The background was originally painted black, suggesting that she was associated with the night.

  • Product Code: CMC50437
  • DESIGNER/ARTIST: The Queen of the Night
  • AUTHOR: Dominique Collon
  • NUMBER OF PAGES: 48
  • Size: 210x147mm
  • SUBTITLE: Objects in Focus
  • Illustrations: 15 colour and 4 b/w
  • Subject: Archaeology

This large Old Babylonian plaque, found in southern Iraq, was made between 1800 and 1750 BC. It is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modelled in high relief, and probably stood in a shrine. The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war; or Ishtar's sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld; or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith. This book explores the symbolism and history behind this beautiful relief. The figure wears the horned head-dress characteristic of a Mesopotamian deity and holds a rod and ring of justice, symbols of her divinity. Her long multi-coloured wings hang downwards, indicating that she is a goddess of the Underworld. Her legs end in the talons of a bird of prey, similar to those of the two owis that flank her. The background was originally painted black, suggesting that she was associated with the night.

  • Product Code: CMC50437
  • DESIGNER/ARTIST: The Queen of the Night
  • AUTHOR: Dominique Collon
  • PAGES: 48