New sensational archeological Assyrian find

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Posted by andreas from ( on Saturday, December 14, 2002 at 5:43PM :

New sensational archeological Assyrian find

Lady Dwindlebimmer-Ralston's Gallery of the more or less Unidentifiable


"Stele of Witness"
2nd Cent BCE
35 x 17 x 7 cm ~ limestone

In the ancient Middle East it was customary to erect a stele, an upright stone slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface to commemorate important events.

This particular stele was found in Kalah in Assyria among the ruins of a Hurrian-era barracks, and may have been inscribed by a military officer engaged in the war against the united Hurrian-Sumerian defense forces of the indigenous higher culture.

Quite possibly it was intended as a gravestone, although many scholars question that, as the inscription is not comparable with mortuary stelae of the same period.

The graven eyes represent spiritual questing, appropriate for a funerary image, and the fingers appear to be clasped over a wall in a manner similar to later early Mithraic figures also not uncommon in that area.

The curiously exaggerated nose may have been an attempt to either render the noseguard of a Greek helmet (a very expensive article imported by Assyrians to cover their ethnically featured noses) or the realistic rendition of the features of the famous Assyrian Gollum clan.

The script is in proto-Assyrian and appears to read: "I, Kil-roy-pli-dan, was in [or upon] this place."

-- andreas
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