Object Image

Plaque fragment: kneeling lion-headed figure

This figure belongs to a group of carved ivories, mostly furniture elements, probably found at the site of a palace at Acemhöyük in central Anatolia. Most of the ivories depict imagery borrowed and transformed from Egyptian sources, such as the hybrid creature shown here who combines human and lion features. In Egypt, representations of lioness goddesses appeared as early as the Old Kingdom. This creature, with its kneeling posture and closed mouth, indicated by a diagonal groove, does not appear menacing. Its identity is mysterious, but it appears to have symbolized a benevolent force.

The plaque has attachment holes at top and bottom, and probably was used to decorate a piece of furniture. I ...
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c. 18th century B.C.
Ivory (hippopotamus), gold foil
11.1 x 5.1cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection