Two Bronze Deities

Near Eastern (Syrian/Canaanite)

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

gift of: the Nasser Family

date of the original: 1500-1000 BC

provenance of the original: Syria

description: Two figures (one male, one female) attached at the hip. Bronze replica; bronze original. Height 13.5 cm, width 5 cm, depth 4 cm.

This Canaanite figurine is characteristic of divinity statues from Syria. The figures are very flat in shape, with large bald round heads, large narrow noses, long slender necks and inset eyes.

It is generally agreed that these images depict male and female deities. Most of these figures have been found in sanctuaries and in high or remote places, and thus seem to hold some ritual significance. They may have functioned as votive statues (see: Cycladic Idol;Kouros of Paros) or amulets (see: Faience AmuletsBronze Amulets).

This figurine was cast in bronze using the lost-wax method. Other similar pieces were made from silver and gold, created by hammering the metal over a bronze core. These figurines may have had wooden precursors which are not preserved in the archaeological record.