Collection online

religious/ritual equipment / mask

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Fired clay mask of the demon Humbaba; modelled features; five line cuneiform inscription on the back; 3+2ll.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1800BC-1600BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 3.25 inches
    • Length: 3.31 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Translation

        If the coils of the colon resemble the head of Huwawa, (this is) an omen of Sargon who ruled the land. If ...., the house of a man will expand. (Written by) the hand of Warad-Marduk, diviner, son of Kubburum, diviner.
  • Curator's comments

    This is usually believed to represent the face of Huwawa (or Humbaba), a giant slain by Gilgamesh. It also represents the intestines of a sheep examined for divination, and this fantastic conformation is said to have been found by Sargon of Agade, to whom it foretold dominion over the land. Primary publication by Sidney Smith in the 'Liverpool Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology' vol. 11 (1924), p.107ff (but with incorrect reading of diviner's name).


  • Bibliography

    • van Buren E D 1930a no.1070 bibliographic details
    • De Meyer L 1980a no.96, p.106 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G56/dc22

  • Exhibition history


    2013 3 Nov - 2014 21 Apr, Herne, LWL Museum fur Archaologie, 'Uruk: 5000 Years of the Megacity'
    2013 25 Apr - 8 Sep, Berlin, Vorderasiatisches Museum, 'Uruk: 5000 Years of the Megacity'
    2000, Barcelona, 'Foundation of the City'
    1996 14 Jun-29 Sep, London, The British Library, The Mythical Quest

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated for or by Rassam. Reference in register for collection: Inventories volume (1878-82), ? and p.75.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Clay mask of the demon Huwawa


COMPASS Title: Clay mask of the demon Huwawa

Image description



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Object reference number: WCO2647

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