This bronze sculpture of a crouching figure was made in ancient Mesopotamia. It is a very fine piece, with interestingly disproportionate rendering of the legs – which are very powerful – and arms, which are very slender. The overall lines of the piece are generalised, indicating a garment of some sort, probably a long tunic. The head is slightly downcast, with a very prominent nose, almond eyes and a small mouth, the hair gathered up in an elaborate coiffure that resembles a coil on the head’s apex. The whole has an irregular patina with clear evidence of age.
Pieces such as this were made all over the area currently covered by Iraq, Iran and other Central Asian countries. Mesopotamia is also the birthplace of much that we currently recognise to be complex society, urbanisation and civilisation. Most areas were controlled by palace-temples that governed religious and social convention, with a resident aristocracy and various priests etc. These gathered taxation and ensured the economic and spiritual health of the serfs who worked for them. Pieces such as this were used to commemorate important members of the priestly class. This is a powerful piece of ancient sculpture.