Figurines from Syria


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Around 2000 B.C., metal was used quite often in Syria in the manufacture of human figurines. Mostly used were lead, copper or bronze. Usually, the liquid, hot metal was cast in stone or clay moulds. Sometimes a wax model was used as a mould. This ‘lost wax’ technique did not have to be applied in the manufacture of simple figurines.
Working with moulds made it possible to mass-produce figurines. Thousands of these figurines are known, in all manner of shapes and sizes. Some of them are clearly recognizable as male or female, others are too stylized for that. These figurines are examples of the latter, lacking nearly all detail.
A characteristic feature is the position of the arms of the largest of the two figurines. The left hand is resting on the stomach, the right hand is held out and was originally holding an attribute: a weapon, a staff or a jug. Most of these figurines were found in sanctuaries and tombs, leading to the supposition that they must have had a ceremonial function. The figurine on the left has an eyelet at the back of its head, making it possible to attach it to a necklace or piece of clothing.

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  • Title: Figurines from Syria
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -2000/-1700
  • Location: Syrië
  • Physical Dimensions: h9.4 cm
  • Datering: 2000-1700 v.C.
  • Afmetingen: hoogte: 9,4 en 7,9 cm
  • Type: figurines
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: metal ; bronze