Sasson Ancient Art
Home About Ancient News New ancient Objects Archive Contact  

Sign up for Updates

Back to category

Near Eastern Art

Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.
Late second ??? early first Mill. BC.
H. 11.5 cm (4 ? in.)
Perfect condition. Fine green patina.
Ex. Israeli collection, Jerusalem, prior to year 2000

The anthropomorphic balsamarium (-cosmetic flask) in the form of a naked woman. She is standing frontal, her right hand holding her right breast, her left hand on her waist and her straight joint legs on a flat square base. She wears a torque, belt around the waist and bracelets and anklets on her hands and legs. Her elongated head with flat top with the balsamarium opening, with large oval eyes, straight nose, straight mouth with full lips and large ears. The hair arranged in a long plait at the back. The body with thick neck, narrow hips, wide waist and the legs tapering down. The sex elements are emphasized, the breast in the form of projecting small balls, the sex part is incised in triangle shape and the buttocks are rounded and large.
The figure is modeled with attention to details, as the facial parts and the fingers and toes. The violin shape body and the posture are expressing the feminine characteristics of sex and fertility, typical to figures of fertility goddesses.

For a fertility goddess holding her breasts, cf. Keel, O., 2008, p. 38, fig. 25.
For the position of the hands, cf. Ghirshman, R.,1964, p.246, fig. 297.

Keel, O., Gott weiblich: Eine verborgene Seite des biblischen Gottes, Gutersloher Verlagshaus, Freiburg, 2008.
Ghirshman, R., Persia: from the Origins to Alexander the Great, London, Thames and Hudson 1964.



 Back to top

Full Bibliography
  Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.Near Eastern bronze fertility goddess balsamarium.

Gideon Sasson • Sasson  Ancient Art • King David Hotel - Annex, Jerusalem - 94101,  Israel
Phone: + 972-2-622-1460 •  • Fax: + 972-2-6249483
  Authorized by the Israel Antiquities Authority