Bronze figurine of a warrior, probably a deity
Canaanite, about 2000-1700 BC
From the Levant
A warrior god with feathered crown
This bronze figurine wears a broad belt fastened in front with a pair of ribbons, which suggests that he is a warrior. His headgear can be identified as a feathered crown. His hands are pierced and he probably originally carried weapons. He has been compared with Anatolian seals of the same period where a figure stands with a weapon in either hand before a seated god.
The figurine was probably cast in a double stone or clay mould. The channels along the back perhaps show that it was originally decorated with sheets of precious metal. Already in the third millennium BC several kinds of metal were used in the Levant for both casting and hammering. Lead, copper and bronze were generally used for solid-casting, while gold and silver were mainly hammered.
It is generally thought that human figurines such as this are images of deities. They may have served as cult idols (statues of deities to which prayers and offerings were made). It is perhaps more likely, though, that they were votive objects, given by worshippers with prayers to enlist the god's favour or help.
O. Negbi, Canaanite gods in metal (Tel Aviv University Institute in Archaeology, 1976)
E. Porada, 'The warrior with plumed helmet', Berytus-1, 7 (1942)