Gold terminal in the form of a bull's head

From ancient South Arabia

It is rare for jewellery to survive from ancient South Arabia as it was often melted down. This gold bull's head was made from thin raised sheet with sets of six applied granules to represent the ears, seven granules for the muzzle and applied tufts along the top of the head; the mouth is hollow. The eye stones are of circular banded agate with a pale grey lower stratum and dark brown pupil. They were set in cloisons made separately and sunk into the sheet metal. An ear of folded gold remains behind the right horn. There was a very similar gold bull head in the Muncherjee Collection, which included a large number of pieces from the Wadi Markha area.

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More information


St J. Simpson (ed.), Queen of Sheba: treasures from (London, The British Museum Press, 2002)


Height: 6.000 cm
Width: 4.100 cm
Thickness: 2.700 cm
Weight: 12.400 g

Museum number

ME 136800


Acquired by the British Museum in 1977


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