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Bronze figure of a god


Height: 19.800 cm

Acquired in 1874

ME 91147

Room 54: Anatolia and Urartu

    Bronze figure of a god

    Urartian, 8th-7th century BC
    From Urmia, north-western Iran, or Van, modern Turkey

    A deity in a horned head-dress

    The Urartians adopted many of the traditions of Mesopotamia, including cuneiform writing. Mesopotamian gods were usually depicted wearing horned headdresses and this also became a feature of representations of Urartian deities, as this figure demonstrates.

    The identity of this god is not known but Urartian texts show that Haldi was the principal deity of the Urartian pantheon. He is always named first in the trinity with Teisheba (storm god) and Shiwini (sun god). He was the god of the sky, the land, the state, herds and war.

    The kingdom of Urartu had disappeared before 600 BC, possibly destroyed by raids of horse-borne warriors, known to the Greeks as Scythians, associated with the Medes from western Iran. The name survives, however, in that of its highest mountain, Ararat.

    D. Frankel, The ancient kingdom of Urartu (London, The British Museum Press, 1979)

    R. Merhav, Urartu: a metalworking centre (Jerusalem, Israel Museum, 1991)

    R.D. Barnett, 'The excavations of the British Museum at Toprak Kale near Van', Iraq-6, 12 (1950)


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    On display: Room 54: Anatolia and Urartu

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