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Figure of Mother Goddess
Iran, Gilan Province, 1st millennium B.C., pottery, H: 23 cm

This mother goddess has a pear-shaped body with a prominent belly. The legs are also pear-shaped with feet formed to give the figure stability. Protruding buttocks are in shape of hemispheres. Stylization characterized by all these features is distinctive for mother goddesses giving birth to new life and is an artistic form of a prolific desire of mankind. In opposite breasts are rather small, but even so they are manifested and emphasized by the gesture of thin gracefully curved arms. This figure symbolizes giving birth and bringing up children. There is a zig-zag line incised around the waist.
The upper part of the body is relatively slim with thin arms and a long neck. The head is slightly large with flat face, a clearly executed nose and a small mouth. Almond-shaped eyes are slanting upwards at the corners. The face gives an impression of an Oriental.
The figure wears five necklaces and holes in its ears suggest that there were originally pierced for metal earrings. Accordingly to the literature on this subject, the headdress is interpreted as a crown, but in the back of the head there are three braided strands attached to it.
This figure represents the Amlash Culture that flourished in the Gilan Province in North-Western Iran from the end of the 2nd to the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. The main site of the Amlash Culture is Marlik Tepe where numerous figurative pieces of pottery and bronze depicting human and animals as well as vessels made of precious metals were unearthed from over 50 tombs.

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