Bronze Statuettes

Syria: Tell Judaidah; Early Bronze Age;(Amuq Phase G), ca. 3100-2900 B.C. Bronze with silver-rich alloy. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "Archaeologists found these three statuettes in a cache that contained three male and three female figurines. They are the earliest known metal castings of human figures in the round from Syria. The males wear broad belts and helmets covered with a silver alloy; they probably once held weapons in their upraised hands. The naked females' hair is held in place with a headband and bound in the back in an elaborate chignon. They cross their arms and grasp their breasts in their hands - a common ancient pose that probably connotes fertility. The statuettes were intended to be mounted in some fashion, for a tang projects below the feet of each one. The skill with which these unique pieces were modelled and the technical knowledge that was needed for their casting reveal surprisingly high standards of artistic and technical achievement in Syria at the beginning of the third millennium B.C.

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