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Ancient Asia Minor Alabaster Plate

Ancient Near East, Asia Minor/Anatolia, ca. 3rd millennium BCE. A shallow dish carved from alabaster with four tubular handles spaced regularly around the rim. The dish is semi-translucent, especially the base. The dish stands on a very low, round foot and has a smooth, flat rim. Size: 6" W x 0.95" H (15.2 cm x 2.4 cm)

Alabaster, a light-colored, calcareous stone from the Iranian Plateau, has strong connections in ancient Anatolia to religion and specifically the gods. For example, in the site of Kultepe-Kanes, a huge burial mound, there were many disc-shaped alabaster idols, naked alabaster goddesses, and lion figures. We also know that alabaster was a precious material, widely traded in the region from the 4th millennium BCE onward. A dish like this one was made to be placed into a tomb to hold offerings.

Condition: Intact, with red encrustation on surface as shown.

Provenance: Ex-Private East Coast, USA Collection

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