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Subject: Ivory animal figures

Ivory animal figures

From: Susan White <smwhitewhite<-at->
Date: Friday, December 18, 2009
I received two ancient ivory animal figures, probably from a
Mesopotamian tomb.  They are in poor condition as well with staining
accretions (partially removed by myself to reveal the exquisite
carving.  I believe the accretions are intentional ritual
applications made before burial, iron being a major component,
either as iron oxide or blood.  I'm inclined to believe the latter
because of the characteristic splatter marks that liquids make.

I have sent photos of these pieces to scholars at the Met in the
Egyptian Department, as well as to other scholars in the field of
near and middle eastern art with the hopes of clarification of
identity.  One scholar seems to think they may have been carved in
Egypt for Mesopotamian tombs, but there is more of a story here.  It
is a genuine mystery as I've not yet found anyone who can give me
any authoritative information on them.  I suspect a date of about
2000 BC based on the condition, but that's a fairly wild guess. If
anyone would like to see images and hazard a guess as to their
original provenance, I'd be most appreciative.  I can send you
photos.

Susan White


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:22
               Distributed: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-23-22-019
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 18 December, 2009

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