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Sekhmet, meaning “powerful,” is depicted with the body of a woman and the head of a lioness. A daughter of the sun-god Re, she became the consort of Ptah of Memphis. She is associated variously with fire, war, and healing. Here she is seated on a…

The dwarf-god Bes appears fierce and often grotesque but is actually benign in character. He serves as the protector of the family, especially of children and of women in hard labor. His ugliness was considered a deterrent to evil spirits, and he was…

Osiris’s body is typically portrayed in mummified form, with the arms projecting outward to hold the royal scepters – the crook on the right and the flail on the left. The conical war helmet, the hedyet from Upper Egypt, has a cobra at the forehead.…

The manifestation of Ptah of Memphis, the Apis figurine is typically black, sometimes with a white triangle on the forehead. Between its horns are the sun-disk and the cobra Uraeus. Several features are inscribed on its back: on its shoulders and…

This is a messenger tablet probably was found at Umma. It is beautifully written and dated to king Šu-Sîn of Ur (c. 2037-2029 BCE). It’s written in Sumerian.

This tablet is from Umma. The seal mentions king Amar-Suʾen of Ur (c. 2046-2038 BCE). It’s written in Sumerian.

Tel Jokha Tablet 1.jpg
This tablet from Puzriš-Dagan (modern Drehem) is dated to king Amar-Suʾen of Ur (c. 2046-2038 BCE). It is a receipt given for three goats. It’s written in Sumerian.

Professor James H. Stevenson served on the faculty of Vanderbilt Biblical Department/School of Religion, now the Divinity School, from 1893 to 1919. He was the first scholar in the Biblical Department and an expert in biblical archaeology and the…

Fishman Seal.jpg
The seal (1100-600 BCE) shows the composite fish-man, a figure known from Assyrian texts, which is buried in houses as a protection against illness. The fish-men are typically identified with seven sages or demigods who brought civilization and…

Winged Genie Seal.jpg
Dating to the Achaemenid Period (550-330 BCE), this seal shows a winged man wearing a horned helmet. On either side are two men and above the central figure’s head is the winged disk, which here represents Ahuramazda, a Persian deity.
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