Region: Iraq: Tell Asmar, Square Temple I, Shrine II Origin: Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-4 Accession: OIM A12332 Period: Early Dynastic I-II, ca. 2900-2600 B.C. Materials: Gypsum (?) inlaid with shell and black limestone(?) Dimensions:
During the Early Dynastic Period in Mesopotamia, statuettes were placed in sanctuaries as votive offerings and were later buried when the temple was remodelled or rebuilt. This representation of a Sumerian standing reverently before his god is one of a group of sculptures found buried in a pit next to the altar of the Abu Temple at Tell Asmar. It is thought to depict a priest because it lacks the full beard and long hair of other male statues of its type.