Banquet Plaque

Iraq: Khafajah, Sin Temple IX; Early Dynastic II-III, ca. 2700-2600 B.C. Gypsum. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-4. "The top register of this plaque shows a seated man and woman celebrating an unidentified event or ritual by participating in a banquet. Two servants attend them while others bring a jar (probably filled with beer), an animal to be slaughtered, and other edibles carried in bundles on their heads. Musicians and dancers in the bottom register add to the festivities. Plaques such as this were part of a door-locking system for important buildings. The plaque was embedded in the doorjamb and a peg, inserted into the central perforation, was used to hold a hook or cord that secured the door and was covered with clay impressed by one or more seals.

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