Metropolitan Museum of Art

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India pierced screens jalis mughal era
Jalis, Mughal era

Jalis pair
Mughal Era (1526 - 1858), later 16th century, India
Red sandstone; pierced, carved
Metropolitan Museum

This pair of jalis would have been part of a series of windows in an outside wall, as suggested by the weathering on one side. They are attributed to the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1550 - 1605) when red sandstone was the favored building material.

Jalis (pierced screens) were used extensively in Indian architecture as windows, room dividers, and railings. The movement of the sun would cast a moving silhouette across the floor, enhancing the pleasure of their intricate geometry.

India pierced screens jalis mughal era
Jalis, Mughal era

Vessel with fantastic leonine creature
Gold
Achaemenid era
5th century BC, Iran
Metropolitan Museum

achaemenid gold iran leonine
Leonine vessel

This gold vessel probably belonged to an Achaemenid king. Typical of Achaemenid style, the snarling beast’s ferocity is tempered by decorations: it has a crest down its back, and a bird’s plume, indicating it is some sort of mythical lion-like winged creature.

The skill in the vessel’s production is superb: several parts were invisibly joined by soldering; 136 feet of twisted wire decorate the upper band of the vessel in 44 even rows; and the roof of the creature’s mouth is raised in tiny ribs.

Iran Ziwiye gold plaque
Gold plaque, Iran

Gold plaque
Northwest Iran; maybe Ziwiye
8th - 7th century BC
Metropolitan Museum

Winged creatures approach stylized trees, similar to contemporaneous Assyrian or Urartian designs. Assyrian palace reliefs show the king wearing a large necklet or pectoral on his garment. These plaques were perhaps worn the same way, by the perforations on their edges.

Mexico Maya diving figure
Mayan container

Container, diving figure
Mexico; Maya
13th - 15th century
Ceramic

Mexico Maya diving figure
Mayan container

Maya ceramic vessel
Cylindrical vessel

Cylindrical vessel
Mexico or Guatemala; Maya
6th - 9th century
Ceramic
Metropolitan

Maya mythological scene
Vessel with mythological scene

Vessel with mythological scene
Mexico or Guatemala; Maya
8th century
Ceramic
Metropolitan

Olmec baby figure
Olmec baby figure

Olmec baby figure
Mexico; Olmec
12th - 9th century BCE
Ceramic
Metropolitan

Metropolitan Museum

Metropolitan Museum

Senufu Poro Porimbele
Male pombia (poro figure)

Male pombia (poro figure)
19th century, wood
Lataha village, Korhogo region
Cote d’Ivoire
Senufo people, Tyebara group
Collected by Emil Storrer, 1953
Metropolitan Museum

Heavy weathering indicates this pombia was used for many generations. Emil Storrer gathered it and its female pairing (now in the Rietberg Museum) at Lataha in 1953, plus related works being discarded by northern Cote d’Ivoire communities. These items lost their desirability in light of the iconoclastic Massa movement.

Mali Dogon granary shutter
Granary shutter and lock

Granary shutter and lock
Mali, Dogon peoples
19th - 20th century
Wood, Iron
Metropolitan

Roman Hellenistic statue
Roman Hellenistic statue

Torso of a youth
Marble, Roman (circa 118 – 161 CE)
Hadrianic or early Antonine era

The statue is Hellenistic but not a true copy of a classical Greek statue. Its flat, softly rendered planes and polished surfaces are typical of Hadrianic and early Antonine statues. The torso's relative stiffness and lack of organic clarity are a Roman style.


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Achaemenid gold fluted bowl, circa 6th-5th century BC, Iran. Reign of Darius I (522 – 486 BC) or Darius II (432 – 405 BC). Metropolitan Museum. This vessel’s elegant form is based on Assyrian fluted b
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Achaemenid gold fluted bowl, circa 6th-5th century BC, Iran. Reign of Darius I (522 – 486 BC) or Darius II (432 – 405 BC). Metropolitan Museum.

This vessel’s elegant form is based on Assyrian fluted bowls and was a typical product of palace workshops. It bears a common motif of embossed lobes on stems radiating from a central rosette. The inscription reads Darius the Great King in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian – the most important languages for Achaemenid ceremonial inscriptions.

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Achaemenid gold vessel, circa 5th century BC. Met Museum
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Achaemenid gold vessel, circa 5th century BC.

Met Museum

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Cloisonné furniture plaque with two sphinxes flanking a cartouche. Ivory. Nimrud. Fort Shalmaneser. Metropolitan Museum.
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Cloisonné furniture plaque with two sphinxes flanking a cartouche. Ivory. Nimrud. Fort Shalmaneser. Metropolitan Museum.

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Furniture plaque carved in relief with striding man, Fort Shalmaneser, Nimrud. Metropolitan Museum.
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Furniture plaque carved in relief with striding man, Fort Shalmaneser, Nimrud. Metropolitan Museum.

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Nimrud ivory, Fort Shalmaneser, Nimrud. Metropolitan Museum.
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Nimrud ivory, Fort Shalmaneser, Nimrud. Metropolitan Museum.

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Gypsum relief of a banquet scene, Room 161, Level VIIB, Inanna Temple, Nippur. Early Dynastic IIIa, 2600 – 2500 BC. Metropolitan. This relief plaque depicts a banquet scene, one of Early Dynastic art’
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Gypsum relief of a banquet scene, Room 161, Level VIIB, Inanna Temple, Nippur. Early Dynastic IIIa, 2600 – 2500 BC. Metropolitan.

This relief plaque depicts a banquet scene, one of Early Dynastic art’s fundamental themes. It may represent a ritual harvest/fertility feast between the king and the goddess Inanna or her high priestess.

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Calcite bowl, Room 193, Level VIIIB, Nippur, Early Dynastic IIIA, 2600 – 2500 BC. Metropolitan Museum. Sumerian cuneiform inscription: 1 For Inanna, 2 Aka-Enlil the chief merchant, 3 son of Heti, 4 de
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Calcite bowl, Room 193, Level VIIIB, Nippur, Early Dynastic IIIA, 2600 – 2500 BC. Metropolitan Museum.

Sumerian cuneiform inscription: 1 For Inanna, 2 Aka-Enlil the chief merchant, 3 son of Heti, 4 dedicated [this bowl]

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Gypsum vessel supported by two rams, circa 2600-2500 BC, Early Dynastic IIIA. Metropolitan Museum.
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Gypsum vessel supported by two rams, circa 2600-2500 BC, Early Dynastic IIIA. Metropolitan Museum.

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Standing male worshipperAlabaster (gypsum) with shell and black limestone inlay. Statue from the Square Temple of Abu at Eshnunna (Tell Asmar), Early Dynastic I-II, circa 2900-2600 BC. Metropolitan Mu
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Standing male worshipperAlabaster (gypsum) with shell and black limestone inlay. Statue from the Square Temple of Abu at Eshnunna (Tell Asmar), Early Dynastic I-II, circa 2900-2600 BC. Metropolitan Museum.

This figure belongs to a cache of twelve statues buried beside an altar in the Abu Temple. Statues from the hoard define Early Dynastic sculpture in the abstract style, characterized by geometric forms.

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Gypsum statue of a female worshipper, Sin Temple, Level IX, Khafaje. Early Dynastic IIIA, circa 2600 - 2500 BC. Metropolitan Museum.
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Gypsum statue of a female worshipper, Sin Temple, Level IX, Khafaje. Early Dynastic IIIA, circa 2600 - 2500 BC. Metropolitan Museum.

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Reclining doe, Early Dynastic IIIA, Sumerian, Mesopotamian. Gold. Met Museum.
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Reclining doe, Early Dynastic IIIA, Sumerian, Mesopotamian. Gold. Met Museum.

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Diorite head of Gudea, circa 2,090 BC, Neo-Sumerian, likely from Girsu. Metropolitan Museum.
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Diorite head of Gudea, circa 2,090 BC, Neo-Sumerian, likely from Girsu. Metropolitan Museum.

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