Statues from the Abu Temple

Statues from the Abu Temple

Date ca. 2700-2500 BCE

Movement Ancient Near Eastern | Sumerian

Medium Limestone, alabaster, gypsum

Dimensions tallest height 30″

Provenance Abu Temple, Tell Asmar, Iraq

Housed at Iraq Museum, Baghdad and The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago


These sculptures were located at the base of the Abu Temple altar, leading scholars to believe that the larger two were cult statue of Abu, while the others may be representations of priests or other notable individuals. The shapes and patterns of these figures are abstract—especially the eyes, wide-open—as perhaps in an expression of awe or as a way of warding off evil.