12 December 2002
A NEAR EASTERN BASALT RAM'S HEAD ALTAR
Circa 2nd-Early 1st Millennium B.C.
In the form of a thick circular disk, the stylized ram's head protome with curled underslung horns and small deeply-drilled eyes, the projecting snout with ridges to indicate the nose and mouth, a ridged dewlap below
13 7/8 in. (35.2 cm) long
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It has been suggested that the flat slabs of these "altars" were used for producing intoxicating substances for religious ceremonies. For a similar example in Zurich see Jettmar, "The Slab with a Ram's Head in the Rietberg Museum," in Artibus Asiae.
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