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Yasmine Mahmoud (yyyy)

Four unpublished plaques from ancient Urkesh (modern Tell Mozan, Syria): Analysis of context and function


The only four terracotta plaques That were found in Urkesh, dating back to the second millennium BC, offer a style variation of the nude woman motif that was extremely popular in Mesopotamia. The main objective of this article is to present these previously unpublished terracotta plaques from Urkesh. The artifacts in question are dealt with from an archaeological point of view, where the descriptive information and archaeological context related to them is provided, before discussing their proposed function that relies to some extent on their imagery and what it represents. The analysis of these plaques, which conform with the domestic nature of other plaques found all over Mesopotamian sites, and the sexualization of woman’s depiction on them and how it relates to some extent to the change in the manufacturing techniques from the freehand molded figurines to the mass production of a mold made plaques, and the interpretation of their function as objects of a domestic nature, are presented in this article in effort to highlight what might be a new proposed function for the plaques of Urkesh, in the light of their archaeological context that might be related to burials
Peer Review, Open Access, PDF available
Urkesh, terracotta plaques, Hurrians, nude female, Khabur, burials
  • DOI: 10.57937/ap.2023.003
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Editors in Chief:
Dr. Anne Hauzeur
Dr. Kevin Salesse
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

ISSN 1377-5723 (printed version)

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