- Museum number
Fired clay figurine; reclining figure of man in belted tunic and trousers, holding a cup in one hand and reclining on one elbow; mould-pressed.
- Production date
Height: 9.40 centimetres
Width: 12.60 centimetres
Depth: 2.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Parthian banqueter
Excavated at Uruk in southern Iraq; Parthian, 1stC-3rdC
Fired clay; height 9.40cm, width 12.60cm
British Museum, London, Inv.-Nr. 91786
This depicts the reclining figure of a man wearing belted tunic and trousers, holding a drinking-bowl in one hand and reclining on one elbow. It was made by pressing the damp clay into a mould prior to drying and firing and was originally probably painted with cheap water-soluble pigments. Its technology belongs to a lengthy Mesopotamian tradition as befits its findspot but its iconography combines Greek ideas of symposion and banqueting in style with Iranian styles of dress and hair. The act of drinking from a bowl rather than a handled cup also belongs to a long Oriental tradition. This object was one of many identical pieces found at the ancient city-site of Uruk in southern Iraq. Their function is unclear yet a unique inscribed example referring to Mithra suggests that they may have been dedicatory items.
Literature: E. Douglas van Buren, Clay figurines of Babylonia and Assyria, New Haven 1930 (p.112, pl. XXX, fig.146, cat. 555); J.E. Curtis, Ancient Persia, London 1989 (p. 60, fig. 72); V. Messina (ed.), Sulla via di Alessandro da Seleucia al Gandhara, Turin 2007 (pp. 183, 185, cat.101).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 13 Feb-27 May, Italy, Turin, 'Sulla via di Alessandro da Seleucia al Gandhara'
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number