Striding figure with ibex horns, a raptor skin draped around the shoulders, and upturned boots
Date: ca. 3000 B.C.
Medium: Copper alloy
Dimensions: H. 17.5 cm (6 7/8 in.) W. 5.4 cm ( 2 1/8 in.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art :On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 402
This solid-cast sculpture is one of a pair of nearly identical images of a hero or a demon wearing the upturned boots associated with highland regions, his power enhanced by the mighty horns of the ibex on his head and the body and wings of a bird of prey draped around his shoulders. It was created at the time the first cities emerged in ancient Sumer. A new world view conceived of human figures in realistic terms, through accurate proportions and highly modeled forms with distinctive features - here, the triple belt and beard that define divine beings and royalty. The blending of human and animal forms to visualize the supernatural world and perhaps to express shamanistic beliefs, however, is more characteristic of the contemporary arts of Proto-Elamite Iran, where a remarkable tradition of metalworking developed during this period.