• Pigs and Plaques: Considering Rm. 714 in Light of Comparative Artistic and Textual Sources

    Author(s):
    Gina Konstantopoulos (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Ancient Near East, Assyriologists
    Subject(s):
    Ancient Near East, Assyriology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/5g4a-4c53
    Abstract:
    Rm. 714, a first millennium B.C.E. tablet in the collections of the British Museum, is remarkable for the fine carving of a striding pig in high relief on its obverse. Purchased by Hormuzd Rassam in Baghdad in 1877, it lacks archaeological context and must be considered in light of other textual and artistic references to pigs, the closest parallel being a sow and her piglets seen in the reliefs of Court VI from Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh. Unlike depictions of pigs on later cylinder seals, where they are often shown as a dangerous quarry in hunting scenes, Rm. 714’s pig appears in a more neutral, non-aggressive posture, similar to the sow in the Assyrian reliefs. Although Rm. 714’s highly curved reverse would inhibit its use as a mounted or otherwise easily displayed object, the tablet may still have served as an apotropaic object or sculptor’s model, among other potential functions.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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