The painted frieze on this burial jar depicts a procession of three sacrificial humped bulls, each tied to a ‘tree of life,’ on a multi-layered plane that is divided into three major spheres: the watery underworld, the earthly world, and the higher spheres of the afterlife. The elongated bodies of the majestic bulls and their centrally placed, staring eyes recall stylistic prototypes from Anatolia, such as Babylonia. The inscription is in a script that has not yet been deciphered.

Bruneaf catalogue, 2005

• TL-test performed by Archeolabs (document reference number BH-05-04-01-01-TL). The result gave a date between 2800 and 3800 years, which puts it in the late Nindowari period.

• The Art Loss Register, London, carried out a search on this object and declared it matchless (ref. # S00036863, 5th of May 2010).

Photo credit : Studio Asselberghs – Frédéric Dehaen

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