COMPOSITE HUMAN-ANIMAL FIGURES IN EARLY URBAN NORTHERN MESOPOTAMIA: SHAMANS OR IMAGES OF RESISTANCE?

Authors
McMahon, A 

Change log
Abstract

Summary: Urban growth in northern Mesopotamia in the early fourth millennium BC was accompanied by an increase in clay container sealings, reflecting the intensified movement and management of resources and manufactured items. The diverse imagery impressed into these sealings includes a human‐ibex grasping a pair of snakes, a bird‐human, and other composite figures. The human‐ibex in particular has been identified as a ‘shaman’, but this is not an appropriate term. The early fourth millennium BC was a period of enormous social and economic upheaval generated by the growth of cities and institutions. Composite figures may have expressed resistance to increasingly structured lived experiences, acknowledging the paradoxes of urban living and affirming the continued presence of the unexplainable.

Publication Date
2022
Online Publication Date
2022-06-16
Acceptance Date
Keywords
4301 Archaeology, 4303 Historical Studies, 43 History, Heritage and Archaeology
Journal Title
Oxford Journal of Archaeology
Journal ISSN
0262-5253
1468-0092
Volume Title
Publisher
Wiley