Featured Item: "Bactrian Scarred Man"
|Hicham Aboutaam discusses the "Bactrian Scarred Man"|
Interviewer: What is the origin of this piece? And who made it?
Hicham Aboutaam: According to the scholar R. Ghirshman (who published this piece in "Notes Iraniennes XII, Statuettes Archaiques du Fars(Iran), " Artibus Asiae, vol. XXVI, 1963, fig 9-10), this piece was found in a cache of six similar figures . Of the group, this fragmentary example was one of the largest. This piece dates from the Late 3rd to the early 2nd Millennium B.C, with an approximate date of 2200 B.C., from the site of Fara in Southern Iran.
Interviewer: Why was it made? What is the significance of the scar?
Hicham Aboutaam: This chlorite figure is most likely a representation of the "scarred man" or Narbemann: a Near Eastern demon often represented as a scaly man with a large, inlaid gash across his face. According to Ghirshman, the holes may have indicated ties to seal the mouth, silencing the demon.
Interviewer: Is there many similar pieces made during that time?
Hicham Aboutaam: Not many. There is an example of the type in the Louvre and another at the Metropolitan Museum, New York and two others, along with this one, were originally part of the Foroughi Collection.
What is the pot being held? What is its purpose?
Hicham Aboutaam: This container might represent a vessel for holding sacred or ritual waters.