Queen of the Night Plaque


Mark Cartwright
by Davide Ferro
published on 19 February 2014
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The Queen of the Night (also known as the Burney Relief) is a high relief terracotta plaque of baked clay, measuring 19.4 inches (49.5 cm) high, 14.5 inches (37 cm) wide, with a thickness of 1.8 inches (4.8 cm) depicting a naked winged woman flanked by owls and standing on the backs of two lions. It originated in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) most probably in Babylonia, during the reign of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE) as it shares qualities in craftsmanship and technique with the famous diorite stele of Hammurabi’s laws and also with the piece known as 'The god of Ur' from that same period. The woman depicted is acknowledged to be a goddess as she wears the horned headdress of a deity and holds the sacred rod-and-ring symbol in her raised hands. Who the winged woman is, however, has not been agreed upon, though scholars generally believe her to be either Inanna (Ishtar), Lilith, or Ereshkigal. (The British Museum, London)

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APA Style

Ferro, D. (2014, February 19). Queen of the Night Plaque. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/image/2314/

Chicago Style

Ferro, Davide. "Queen of the Night Plaque." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified February 19, 2014. https://www.ancient.eu/image/2314/.

MLA Style

Ferro, Davide. "Queen of the Night Plaque." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 19 Feb 2014. Web. 22 Oct 2020.

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