- Museum number
Bronze head of Pazuzu; cast with a ring for suspension at the top.
- Production date
Diameter: 6 centimetres
Height: 10.55 centimetres
Weight: 1113.60 grammes
Width: 7.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This head was probably suspended close to a woman in labour, for protection against the female demon Lamashtu. A 'bronze Pazuzu', presumably an amulet much smaller than this, is prescribed to be worn for this purpose, and a stone Pazuzu is reported to have been part of a necklace found within a grave. When applied to clothes, bronze fibulae - brooch-like safety-pins - bearing the head of Pazuzu probably protected mother and baby. Plaques of various materials show Pazuzu repelling Lamashtu, while offerings such as a fibula provide a further incentive for her to leave.
E. A. Braun-Holzinger, ‘Figürliche Bronzen aus Mesopotamien’ (Prähistorische Bronzefunde. Abteilung 1/ 4). (Munich, 1984), 78, no. 264, pl. 53;
F. Thureau-Dangin, Rituel et amulettes contre Labartu, ‘Revue d’Assyriologie’ 18 (1921), 184-5;
F. A. M. Wiggerman, ‘Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts’ (Groningen, 1992), xiii.
- On display (G55/dc9)
- Exhibition history
2011 28 March-26 June, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Splendours of Mesopotamia'
2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number