9 December 2010
A NEO-ASSYRIAN CARNELIAN LAMASHTU AMULET
CIRCA 8TH-7TH CENTURY B.C.
Rectangular in form, with rounded corners and a perforated flange for suspension, one side with an incised image of the demon Lamashtu, with a human body and a feline head, standing to the right in a boat, her arms outstretched, holding a spindle in her left hand and a comb in her right, her mouth open; the other side with a cuneiform inscription on the face and continuing up over the flange, reading "Lamashtu, daughter of An, chosen by the gods, lady, most noble of ladies"
1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) long
with Nina Borowski, Galerie Archeologie, Paris, 1975.
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Lamashtu was a leonine-human hybrid feared for her malevolence towards unborn and newborn babies. For protection against her evil forces during labor and delivery, pregnant women would wear amulets depicting her rival, the demon Pazuzu (as above).
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