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Standing Man and Woman

The Sumerians in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) built the world's first city-states as early as 3500 BC and are among the first to create free-standing figural sculptures that stood in for worshippers in temples and shrines. These two standing figures are likely to have served a similar purpose, but they are from ancient Syria. Trade and conquest brought many ancient cultures together, and many artistic ideas were shared. Stylistic elements, however, often remain distinct, and the facial features of these figures allow us to identify them as belonging to Syrian culture.

Syrian
Standing Man and Woman
ca. 2000–1500 BC
Terracotta
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); H. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. Marcus, 66.114, 66.115